A useful website for research and writing: http://www.factfish.com
This site, based in Germany, may be useful for many authors seeking basic information related to social and economic issues globally, and country by country. The stated aim is: "to simplify the process of collecting information on decision-relevant topics. We speed up the process and make it cost-effective.
In relation to food and agriculture, for example, the site takes data from published FAO sources, and then makes it easy to explore the data and display the results graphically. So it is does not just 'collect information', it also offers a toolkit for looking at data and displaying it in ways that make interpretation - and decision-making - easier.
The high-level categories currently offered by Factfish are:
- Population and health
- Energy and environment
- Education and science
- Geography and agriculture
- Transport and communication
Within these high-level categories, hundreds of sub-categories are shown. On my wishlist: a high-level category for Biodiversity and ecology - the living foundations of our world economy!