As the world's media outlets run round-the-clock coverage of masked soldiers facing off against besieged Ukrainian military outposts in Crimea, the rest of the world has largely been drowned out. Few, for example, have likely followed the events in Nigeria, where Boko Haram has executed 59 children in an attack on a boarding school and killed more than 150 over the past two weeks.
Using GDELT the shared chronology of millions of news articles covering Nigeria over the past year were combined into a single map that makes it possible to see how strongly Nigeria's unrest is clustered into specific geographic regions with unique profiles, turning casual anecdote into geographic atlas, and creating a tool that can be used to communicate these trends more concretely with policymakers. Perhaps this is big data's greatest potential at the moment: not as a crystal ball seeing into the future, but as a mapmaker that transforms chaos into cartography.
Read the Full Article in Foreign Policy magazine.