GDELT’s Mysterious Demise

I wrote Foreign Policy’s Global Conversation Infographic on New Year’s Day. The content used to create the visualization was based on the Global Data of Events, Language and Tone, commonly referred to as GDELT. The effort was suspended during the week ending January 17th via this terse announcement.

GDELT Suspension

GDELT Suspension

There was an addendum to this which I didn’t include int he screen capture, but it mentioned Robin Kaler at the University of Illinois. I wrote her seeking additional information on the suspension and I received a response just moments ago.

GDELT Kaler

GDELT Kaler

“serious questions about the origins of the source texts used to code GDELT”

I believe this means that whomever created the CAMEO coding was either not credited appropriately, or there may be an issue with using it in a derivative product. I ran into this late last year – I was going to republish the Global Terrorism Database packaged for use with Sentinel Visualizer, but this was not allowed. I was free to publish a set of scripts to accomplish this task, the issue was that the entities that fund that effort wanted a count of total users, so any derivative work had to be post processing run by the user, rather than repackaging.

I hope what we are seeing here is some sort of pause to clean house and/or make things right with regards to whatever coding material was incorrectly used. The volume and quality of content was extremely promising and I hope the suspension is just some misunderstanding that can be quickly corrected. I kept the archive of the 1979 – 2012 data so I can continue working on something that will handle the live feed when it returns.

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4 thoughts on “GDELT’s Mysterious Demise

  1. Pingback: What happened to GDELT? | Anthony A. Boyles

  2. Pingback: Global Database of Events, Language & Tone (GDELT) Is SAFE! | Neal Rauhauser

  3. Pingback: GDELT suspended, then not... | Andrew Spath

  4. Pingback: GDELT’s Analysis Service | Neal Rauhauser

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