The Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) is a collaborative effort lead by the Unicode consortium which aims to allow all of the world’s languages to be supported by software. CLDR accepts contributions to its definitions, which in turn are used to power libraries and software in everything from your iPhone to major websites.
The CLDR data is available in XML and (admittedly enormous) JSON files, as well as on their website. I wanted to explore the data available and come up with some quick visualisations, so rather than parsing those files I used import.io to build Extractors to the tables of data on their website.
There are several advantages to this approach. Firstly, the data is available in the standardised import.io format – if you already have an integration with one of our data sources, you are pretty much ready to go already. Additionally, we can pick and choose the data we want to get, formatting it with metadata as we need. For most of the data sources, it is possible to query the data over the API in real-time, which allows you to easily acquire periodic data updates, or not concern yourself with the storage of the data. Finally, the process is made easier through the use of our Table Auto Extract feature, which can get all the data we need from these sources with one click:
Using this approach, I was able to build a number of import.io data sources to CLDR tables:
- Full CLDR v25 chart*
- CLDR territory containment
- CLDR territory groupings
- CLDR deprecated territories
- CLDR territory / currency mappings
- CLDR decimal digits
- CLDR likely subtags
- CLDR territory information*
- CLDR language plurality
(* This data is available as a static download at this time)
Now that we have this lovely data, it’s time to do something with it! I have created a few quick visualisations by combining data downloaded from these sources with the Google Visualization API.
Currencies over time
The CLDR provides a list of currencies and when they were in use in what countries. Using Table Auto Extract and import.io’s ability to automatically map dates in tables, I was able to quickly convert the data so that I could use it in a Google Timeline chart:
What’s interesting about this is how the UK Pound has been around for nearly 320 years, eclipsing any other currency in use! In addition to a whole load of currencies which went out of use in Europe in the first quarter of 2002 with the introduction of the Euro, the most recently deceased currency was the Latvian Lats, which went out of service at the end of 2013 to be replaced by the Euro.