World "civilizations" according to NYT, 1945-2005 (Image: Leetaru)
Global geocoded tone of all Summary of World Broadcasts content, January 1979-April 2011 mentioning "bin Laden" (Image: Leetaru)
World "civilizations" according to SWB, 1979-2009 (Image: Leetaru)
Global geocoded tone of all New York Times content from 1946 (Image: Leetaru)
"Culturomics" is an emerging field of study into human culture that relies on the collection and analysis of large amounts of data. A previous culturomic research effort used Google's culturomic tool to examine a dataset made up of the text of about 5.2 million books to quantify cultural trends across seven languages and three centuries. Now a new research project has used a supercomputer to examine a dataset made up of a quarter-century of worldwide news coverage to forecast and visualize human behavior. Using the tone and location of news coverage, the research was able to retroactively predict the recent Arab Spring and successfully estimate the final location of Osama Bin Laden to within 200 km (124 miles).
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