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GDELT : What can we learn from the last 200 million things that happened in the world ? | War of…

#GDELT: What can we learn from the last 200 million things that happened in the world? | War of Ideas

The excitement over Global Data on Events, Location, and Tone - to give its full name — is understandable. The singularly ambitious project could have a transformative effect on how we use data to understand and anticipate political events.

Essentially, GDELT is a massive list of important political events that have happened — more than 200 million and counting — identified by who did what to whom, when and where, drawn from news accounts and assembled entirely by software. Everything from a riot over food prices in Khartoum, to a suicide bombing in Sri Lanka, to a speech by the president of Paraguay goes into the system.

Similar event databases have been built for particular regions, and DARPA has been working along similar lines for the Pentagon with a project known as ICEWS, but for a publicly accessible program (you can download it here though you’ll need some programming skills to use it) GDELT is unprecedented in it geographic and historic scale. The database updates with new events every night following the day’s news and while it currently goes back to 1979, its developers are working on adding events going back as far as 1800 according to lead author Kalev Leetaru, a fellow at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

#histoire #politique #conflits #data via @francoisbriatte


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