Data Visualization Still from a dynamic map of worldwide protests, 1979-present.

Published on August 28th, 2013 | by


Three Decades of Global Protest, Mapped

From the demonstrations of the Cold War and Apartheid to Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, a new dynamic map visualization shows every documented protest that has occurred in the world since 1979. 

The animated visualization proceeds month by month, and various historic periods of unrest are visible in the data; Eastern Europe begins to light up following the fall of the Soviet Union, and Iraq explodes into protest during Operation Desert Storm.

The map, created by Penn State political science PhD candidate John Beieler, is based on data from the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT). GDELT is a massive database of global events, pulled from news reports and automatically coded along 58 variables, such as location, ethnic affiliations and event type.

Take a look.

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