Tuesday, August 24, 2010

US Minerals Databrowser

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is the administrative branch in charge of managing information regarding mineral resources within the United States. Its minerals information function that collects, analyzes, and disseminates data that describe current production and consumption of about 100 mineral commodities, both domestically and internationally for approximately 180 countries.The goal of the US Minerals Databrowser is to make it easier to extract meaningful information from this valuable dataset. The US Minerals Databrowser provides several different visualization styles, each tailored to answer a specific set of question regarding the USGS Minerals dataset.

US Production / Exports

This visualization uses the production, apparent consumption, imports and exports fields from the dataset. Net exports are calculated as exports - imports. This plot highlights how sustainable US use of a particular mineral is.

World Production / Price

This visualization plots both US and world annual production of each mineral. The nominal price per ton as well as the inflation adjusted price (in 1998 dollars) are overlain. This plot highlights the interplay between price and production as anticipated by basic economics -- high prices should bring about increased production for globally fungible commodities.

Price Evolution

Plotting inflation adjusted prices against global production create interesting plots that give insight into how well the price signal works for a particular mineral.

Usage History

Usage patterns for any mineral will change as new uses are found and older applications are discontinued. The Usage History plots historical timelines of consumption in all the major usage categories.

Usage Pie

Pie charts provide a quick, intuitive view of relative consumption in each category for a single year to answer the question: "What is this mineral used for?"

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