Tag Archives: open source

A Database of World Events

From Trajectory Magazine:  http://trajectorymagazine.com/got-geoint/item/2294-a-database-of-world-events.html

By Lindsay Tilton Mitchell

Jan 5, 2017

Imagine a database that holds information on all world events and historic records reported in the global news media over the last 30 years, along with the narratives, emotions, and images that defined those events. What you’re envisioning is the real-life GDELT project.

GDELT—which stands for Global Database of Events Language and Tone—is a free, open data platform that applies machine learning to gather news from all over the world and curate what GDELT creator Kalev Leetaru calls “a catalogue of society.”

“Today, we have sensors and satellites blanketing the earth, we know what the weather is, when an earthquake happens, and how many people are affected,” Leetaru said. “We have so much data about the natural Earth, but when it comes to the human Earth, to cataloging human ‘earthquakes’ like mass protests or coups, we were in the stone ages. Before GDELT we never had a database that could give you a list of all the protests happening right now around the world. That’s the goal of GDELT—to let you see the human world just as well as you can the natural world, letting you map global protests as easily as you can map global earthquakes.”

Leetaru began working with supercomputing and web mining in 1995 when he launched his first Internet startup. In 2013, he developed GDELT, and it has been his main focus ever since. Leetaru is also a senior fellow with George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security.

GDELT has evolved beyond its original scope, and now collects broadcast, print, and web news and images from around the world—updating every 15 minutes. Several different data sets bring together more than 400 million event records in 300 categories, more than a trillion emotional measures, two billion mentions of location, and more than 175 million images covering world events from 1979 to present.

GDELT captures the emotion and tone of the articles and images. The project brings together a number of algorithms to detect the author’s emotion in an article, ranging from traditional positive/negative to more complex emotions such as anxiety and motivation. The database also distinguishes the emotion of an image—for example, whether it is violent or if the people in the image are looking away in horror.

GDELT identifies and disambiguates every location mentioned in each article, which can be used to map the geography of specific topics such as wildlife crime or civil unrest.

“Wildlife crimes are fragmented and groups are doing their own thing with little communication, never being able to put it all together to see the big picture,” Leetaru said. “Being able to use GDELT and see the patterns and what’s happening around the world puts the dots on the map and the context behind it in order to see where poachers will strike next. That’s the power of GDELT.”

GDELT is available for anyone to use for free. The GDELT cloud-based analysis website offers a number of built-in visualizations users can leverage to explore the data. Users can also download the raw files on the GDELT website or explore any of the GDELT data sets via Google BigQuery.

Open Source Tool Will Help Drive Emission Reduction

From Informed Infrastructure:

Parul Dubey on January 11, 2017 – in News, Projects

A new research project seeks to develop a tool to identify and reduce carbon in the construction supply chain. The project is a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh Business School and Costain Group and is funded by the Construction Climate Challenge (CCC) initiative hosted by Volvo Construction Equipment.

The Carbon Infrastructure Transformation Tool project (CITT) started from the need to solve two key problems facing the construction industry – the pressing need to reduce GHG emissions, and the highly fragmented nature of supply chains.

“In large infrastructure projects there are large amounts of emissions at stake. The supply chain is also very fragmented, with many different stakeholders. It’s important to ensure we have a consensus across the whole chain to reduce emissions,” says Dr Matthew Brander, Lecturer at University of Edinburgh Business School and Project Manager for CITT.

The research project seeks to develop and implement a tool that will help construction companies identify and reduce carbon. It will pinpoint opportunities to reduce carbon through innovation and supply chain engagement. It will also enhance the amount of communication and dialogue across the supply chain.

Continue reading Open Source Tool Will Help Drive Emission Reduction

Map In Seconds

If you’ve tried to visualize your data with a map, you know how time-consuming it can be.  With choropleth maps you often need specialized and complex tools just to get started.

It shouldn’t take so long or be so difficult, so we built MapInSeconds.com, which takes your data and generates a map – in seconds. The tool is free, there’s no sign-up required, and you can save the map as an image or a PowerPoint slide with the click of a button.  Click below for more!





OSM: The Simple Map that Became a Global Movement

From Directions Magazine

By Diana S. Sinton

Since its inception in 2004, the growth and maturation of OpenStreetMap is evidenced through numerous metrics: in its data collection methodology, its editorial support infrastructure, its policies and standards, and, of course, in the quality and quantity of its data collection itself. As founder Steve Coast has said, “When I created OSM more than 10 years ago, I was just out to create a map — and that’s it. Since then, the tool and its uses have evolved and I believe that it’s an amazing thing that there are people involved in the [OSM] project that want to do socially beneficial things with the tool and that they’re interested in OSM from a different perspective.” In this article we will consider the OSM community of contributors, the data they produce, and the projects that have been made possible. Some of this information was presented during the recent American Association of Geographer’s 2016 meeting in San Francisco, during a session on OSM.

Continue reading OSM: The Simple Map that Became a Global Movement

EPA Releases Online Mapping Tool for Drinking Water Sources

Sensors & Systems Feb. 22, 2016

CALIFORNIA, Feb. 22, 2016 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released an online mapping tool that provides users with information about their watershed and water supplier, as well as information about any possible sources of pollution that could affect their communities’ water supply.

The Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters – DWMAPS – also provides users with ways they can get involved in protecting drinking water sources in their community.

“A key part of having safe drinking water is protecting the sources – the streams, rivers, and lakes where utilities withdraw water,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a written statement. “DWMAPS is the latest example of how EPA is using technology and digital tools to better protect public health and the environment.

According to a press release from the EPA, utilities and state drinking water program managers can also use DWMAPS with their own state and local data. It allows them to identify potential sources of contamination in their locations, find data to support source water assessments and plans to manage potential sources of contamination, and evaluate accidental spills and releases. DWMAPS also integrates drinking water protection activities with other environmental programs at the federal, state, and local levels. Continue reading EPA Releases Online Mapping Tool for Drinking Water Sources

State of the Map Discount!

Here is a letter that the Geospatial Technology Department received about the State of the Map Conference in NYC:

We’d like to invite students and faculty staff of the Geography & Geospatial Technology Program to State of the Map US – the annual OpenStreetMap conference!

Please use the coupon code TEACHOSM to register with a 40 % discount off the regular ticket price of $150.

Please extend this invitation and the coupon code to your students and faculty staff for us.

State of the Map US is the annual conference for OpenStreetMap users. This year the conference is taking place at the UN headquarters in New York and we’re expecting 1,000 OpenStreetMap enthusiasts and professionals from the entire international community. Attend on June 6 and 7 for a series of talks on OpenStreetMap, open source mapping, geospatial tools and innovative mapping techniques. On June 8 we will get hands on with software workshops, mapathons and a workshop track for teachers.


We’re hoping to seeing you in New York City – please get in touch with any questions.