It´s been some time since Gdelt, a Project under the support of Google, released and made available to public their database of “all the news in the world tracked live on a single place”.
The Project is huge and ambitious. By collecting all imaginable sources of news around the world, analysing, and putting them into a database, the aim is to have a live picture of the state of the world. In many dimensions.
Some have pointed out some errors, specially due to the storage of process, by which news are first translated into english and then automatically analysed and tagged. The algorithms are supposed to understand the news, the subject, the actors involved and even take and record conclusions like “in this news from AL-Jazeera in Arabic, the USA are threatening with an armed response to Syria in the context of a diplomatic crisis”. The system even understands when two news are referring to the same event, and treat it as such. One can instantly say “meeeeehh”, there has to be many errors on that analysis. And, as we mentioned, there are. However, the idea looks fantastic and errors will be decreasing over time (who doubts Alexa or Siri will soon understand 99,99% of what we say?).
So as a fun exercise, we have accessed Gdelt database (we used Google Big Query as the whole database is massive! 2.5TB per year) and visualized some data. The idea we have tried to represent is: According to the news, how would the world look like if there was no diplomacy?… if every menace between countries was a direct armed response.
So, what you see below visualized as “gunshots” are events in which there has been reported by the news some sort of confrontation between 2 countries (from a verbal threat of any kind, to a menace of armed response).
If you think is fun, we will try to represent more information and try to identify news under the shoots. Let us know!