|Image 1. All GDELT protest data for 2013. The image was captured from GDELT’s work. (See below)|
Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) is a remarkable organisation to provide, freely, the data of all human behaviours, particularly protest, over the world since 1979. They are trying to make “real-time social sciences earth observatory” by updating the data every day. It is running by three researchers, Kalev Leetaru, Philip Schrodt and Patrick Brandt.
If you visit their website and their blog, you would be surprised by their enormous data set as well as effective and nice visualisation. For example, recent GDELT’s work is showing protest movement in 2013. (Image 1) This interactive map illustrates how many protests have been raising in the world a year including Egypt, Brazil and Turkey, and we can recognise that the flame of protests are covering the world even though the data would not report all hidden protests.
|Image 2. Syria’s civil war. The image was captured from GDELT’s work. (See below)|
Another map describes the terrific condition of Syria’s civil war in detail. (Image 2) Visualising the location, the number of violence per day and the period of the civil war together warns us how the situation is significant much more than just some sentences and images of broadcasting news. It was issued on The Guardian.
However, the most important thing is their continuous effort to collect the data, sort it out and provide the valuable data for further research. Opening the data might not be an easy decision and it would be a extremely time-consuming work.
After visiting the website of GDELT, Networking City understood the importance of open data, its impacts and the power of visualisation, and promised to work hard and being more opened.