Wikipedias view of world history visualized in 100 seconds

first_imgIf you ask most people where they go to find information on the web the top answers will likely include the name of a search engine like Google or Bing, but also Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia has a growing amount of accurate information on many subjects. But while that information is freely accessible, not much has been done with it outside the realms of text and images on the Wikipedia pages. Some enterprising data hackers are beginning to experiment with that data, though.As an example of how this data can be used in other ways, Gareth Lloyd and Tom Martin decided to focus on the historical information Wikipedia holds and created a visualization using it which can be seen above.The idea came from a previous project built for the History Hackday. That event was meant to find new ways to set historical data free and bring it to life beyond text on a page.For the visualization above a parser was written in Python that took a dump of 424,000 Wikipedia articles and around 30GB of data.  The duo then started linking information together about historical events, their locations, and their timeframe. Animation was then added and the geolocations used to place animated dots on a map to form the visualization using Java.The end result is a 100 second history of 15,500 events as covered by Wikipedia. What’s interesting is, as we speed through time the location points and events form into something resembling the world map we all know today. As the world became more explored and known, so did the populations grow in all areas and therefore the events that happened around them.Read more at Ragtaglast_img

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