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Video: Time Lapse Mapping the Global Protests and Uprisings

John Caelan from the website The Swamp Post has created a couple of time-lapse videos that map protests from December 18 to March 7, 2011, where the protests and uprisings can be seen spreading out into different countries.

This next one focuses on the Middle East region:

On a comment on his website in response to a reader's question he explains how he got the data by searching results of protest and uprising reports from mainstream media.

Generally, the methodology was to sift through the first 1000 results of a news search on any given day and mine the unique events. All of that was copied into Excel by day–the locations were mined from the articles manually, and the icons were the chosen by the best average of reporting, as reporting the actual count of people at any gathering is both intrinsically difficult, regardless of skew involved parties tend to apply. Each day’s sheet was turned into a .csv, and imported into the mapper, which is a free thing from Zee Maps, ’cause I’m poor. The day would be copied, new events added, events older than 5 days deleted, events older than 2 days turned to gray. Each event remains in color for two days, mostly to account for the crossover of timezones.

Mr Caelan, however, is aware of the unreliability of these results in showing worldwide trends, as he explains in a comment on this page. Because protests have caught the attention of mainstream media, he says, this map shows how reporting on uprisings or protests has increased, although not necessarily the quantity of protests themselves.

To find out more about the uprisings shown on the videos, there's also an interactive map where you can click on the different icons and read information on the protest that was recorded at that point.

  • Piotr Pluta

    here’s an interactive timeline produced by the Guardian, somewhat similar to the map above, helps to understand the process:

  • lissnup

    Very nice, I notice the post is tagged with only a few of the countries in the video and would like to see all countries added as tags so I can find it again in months / years to come.

  • moonshadow

    Very interesting, thank you for sharing that. Can anyone tell me the name of the song in the second video, and who it’s performed by?

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