Opening Presentation at Wolfram Data Summit 2013

Kalev gave the opening presentation at the Wolfram Data Summit 2013 on the 25th anniversary of the release of Mathematica, presenting on the world of big data and how the GDELT project is reshaping our understanding of human society. Check out the program.

Subsetting and Aggregating GDELT Using dplyr and SQLite

This is a guest post by Andrew Halterman. Edit 17 Sept to reflect changes in dplyr‘s syntax GDELT is an incredible resource for researchers and political scientists and has been getting increasing attention in popular publications. But weighing in at more than 60 GB, it’s too hefty for any kind of quick analysis in R, and is even cumbersome to subset in Python. […]

Mapping a Quarter Century of Protests Using GDELT

Foreign Policy ran a front-page story by Dana Stuster featuring the global and Egyptian protest maps created by John Beieler at Pennsylvania State University using GDELT and the CartoDB mapping platform. Slate's Joshua Keating also covered John's interactive Egyptian protest map, while the National Journal featured the global protests map as its Chart of the Day for August 23rd. […]

Lipari School on Computational Social Science

Kalev taught at the Lipari School on Computational Social Science in Italy from July 20 – July 27th, focusing on how "big data" computational study is transforming the way we understand the world around us.

Visualizing Global GDELT Coverage

Looking at the map of global protests in 2013 as captured in GDELT that John Beieler created, I was struck by how much protest activity there has been in India compared with the surrounding region and how much it and several other areas stood out. This made me concerned that this might simply be an […]

CNBC's Big Data Download Show Features GDELT

CNBC television ran a segment on GDELT for its Big Data Download program titled "An Ambitious Project to Track Global Political History" and discussing it as a powerful new dataset for tracking global activity and political risk. Watch the episode online.

New Scientist Magazine Maps the Syrian Civil War

Peter Aldhous of New Scientist Magazine put together this impressive interactive map of the Syrian civil war that breaks the violence down by quarter to plot how the conflict has been evolving. This map is an interactive companion to an article by Douglas Heaven in the May 13, 2013 issue of the magazine titled "World's largest events […]

The Sphere of Influence and Declassification Engine Projects

Led by Matthew Connelly at Columbia University, the Declassification Engine project is a wide-ranging effort involving "historians, journalists, legal scholars, statisticians, and computer scientists joining together to [explore] novel statistical/machine learning methodologies" focusing on "attributing authorship to anonymous documents, characterizing attributes of redacted text, and modeling spatial and temporal patterns of diplomatic communications." Already the […]

Mapping the Global Twitter Heartbeat: The Geography of Twitter

This collaboration with SGI and the University of Illinois' CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information (CIGI) Laboratory debuted the first-ever analysis of the geography of social media, exploring for the first time the "where" of Twitter. The study was covered throughtout the world, including the print edition of the New York Times to the BBC, The Telegraph, […]

GDELT: a big data history of life, the universe and everything

The Guardian introduces GDELT as "the ultimate big database – and an amazing tool for data journalists" and extols its readers to "imagine being able to map every military action in Iraq in a moment, or provide a detailed verified guide to the Arab Spring … this would be a good place to start." Read […]

Jay Yonamine's Forecasting Future Violence in Afghanistan

Jay Yonamine of Penn State used GDELT in his doctoral dissertation to explore how the spatial resolution of GDELT can be used to better estimate future violence at the district level in Afghanistan. This sequence of maps created by Joshua Stevens is part of a broader display showing the progression of unrest in the country […]

Alex Hanna's Egyptian Timeline

Alex Hanna at the University of Wisconsin-Madison made this great timeline showing the 2011 Egyptian revolution and the various actor classes involved, as captured through the eyes of GDELT. He discusses using the data to understand social movements and political sociology, especially protest behavior, and leveraging the actor codes to lend detail to the underlying […]

David Masad's Python Visualizations

David Masad of George Mason University put together this great tutorial demonstrating how to replicate some of Rolf Fredheim's R-based visualizations for those more familiar or comfortable with Python. He creates some really impressive publication-ready visuals and includes all of the source code used to create them, along with copious documentation and discussion, making it easy to […]

Rolf Fredheim's Visualization Tutorial

Rolf Fredheim of Cambridge University put together a fantastic assortment of basic analyses and some sophisticated visualizations of GDELT, including a number of publication-friendly maps and graphs. He also shows how to create some fantastic network visualizations of actor interconnections. He includes all of the source code and descriptions of how he generated each image. […]

Rolf Fredheim's Russia Network Visualizations

Rolf Fredheim of Cambridge University created this visually stunning series of network displays of Russia's interactions with the world over the past quarter-century, as viewed through the eyes of GDELT. He even includes a YouTube video showing how the network changes week by week over the entire 1979 to 2012 period. He also discusses his […]


The debut paper on GDELT was presented at the International Studies Association (ISA) meeting. Read the Full Paper.