GDELT: Global Data on Events, Location and Tone
The GDELT database: Global Data on Events, Location and Tone, which is an amazing tool for data journalists. The Guardian described it as "a #BigData history of life, the universe and everything"
GDELT effort was led by Kalev Leetaru, who is well-known for his work on Culturonomics, a controversial theory for using data to predict international events. However, there is nothing controversial about data collection about international events.
GDELT database is huge, with over 250m events in over 300 categories from riots and protests to diplomatic exchanges and peace appeals.
The data is based on a variety of international news sources coded for events, location and tone; the data will be updated daily. It also contains latitude and longitude for every event, geotagged to city level. Currently it goes back to 1979, but plans are to include all events back to 1800.
The database has been used by researcher Jay Yonamine to predict violence in Afghanistan, with results that were as good using public media sources as the (formerly) classified data obtained from Wikileaks.
Read also The GDELT database: Global Data on Events, Location and Tone, by Kalev Leetaru and Philip A. Schrodt.
See GDELT: a big data history of life, the universe and everything, The Guardian, Apr 12, 2013.