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New Paper: Culturomics Forecasts Civil Unrest with the Help of Big Data

When we think about Big Data, what could be bigger than the sum of all media consciousness in the world? A peer-reviewed paper published yesterday “combines advanced supercomputing with a quarter-century of worldwide news to forecast and visualize human behavior, from civil unrest to the movement of individuals.”

The paper, titled “Culturomics 2.0: Forecasting Large-Scale Human Behavior Using Global News Media Tone in Time and Space,” uses the tone and location of news coverage from across the world to forecast country stability (including retroactively predicting the recent Arab Spring), estimate Osama Bin Laden’s final location as a 200-kilometer radius around Abbottabad, and uncover the six world civilizations of the global news media. The research also demonstrates that the news is indeed becoming more negative and even visualizes global human societal conflict and cooperation over the last quarter century.

Read more about results from this research in the full paper.

Stories like this are why I love my job. I’m already working it into my sequel story to The Three Magi of Katrina which appeared last year in our Print’nFly Guide to SC10 New Orleans.

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