30+ Years of Protest Mapped

Doctoral candidate John Beieler (Pennsylvania State University, USA) created a time-lapse visualisation of protests around the world since 1979.

John Beieler has produced this animated visualisation of protests since 1979 using the freely available GDELT 'event' database.

This visualisation is excellent, but has been mis-attributed by media to being 'every protest around the world since 1979' which is clearly an overstatement, which John Beieler (user of data) and the data compilers both acknowledge. Essentially the further back in time the data represents, there are fewer protests recorded but many more may have occurred that aren't recorded. There is less data about earlier protests due to data collection constraints and more data recently due the digitisation of news media.

Furthermore, if you notice that there seems to be an unexpectedly high incidence of protests in the centre (centroid) of countries (e.g. US mid-west, Canadian prairies, Australian outback, Russian Siberia) then see the explanation.

by Duane Raymond published Sep 02, 2013,