Last year, prior to the public release of the GDELT dataset, a hackathon was hosted at Penn State that was open to small group of individuals, largely from PSU. This is where some of the first analysis of the dataset occurred (my first work on subsetting the data, some of Jay Yonamine’s work on Afghanistan, and the first visualizations of the data by Josh Stevens and Ryan Mullins). In short, much of what was done at the hackathon has served as the basis for the work being done currently.
Given the success of this original hackathon, we hope to follow it up with another iteration. The collective knowledge pertaining to GDELT is much higher now, and I believe some very interesting and useful things can be created by an engaged group of people sitting in a room for several hours exploring the data. This rise in knowledge is largely attributable to a wider user base for the dataset; the set of people interested in the data has expanded well beyond the relatively small group at Penn State. Given this, we hope to bring in people with unique perspectives both on the data itself and on potential applications.
The hackathon will take place at Penn State University, largely due to help from the Big Data Social Science IGERT. The dates are September 27-28. On Friday the 27th, there will be a short introduction to the data and a tutorial, likely running from 12:00-2:00 (this time is tentative as of now). The actual hackathon will take place on Saturday the 28th and will (hopefully) last from 8am until 8pm. If you wish to attend, you should feel no obligation to stay for the entire event; show up when you can and leave when you need to. We hope to have a rough list of possible projects, so you don’t have to worry about coming up with a new idea prior to the event. If you do have an idea, however, I’m sure you’ll find someone willing to collaborate. Also, if you don’t have a particular affinity for programming, you should still feel free to attend. The more ideas, and people, the better. In other words, no matter what your skill set or familiarity with the dataset, please feel free to attend, or at least contact me about the possibility of attending.
Finally, if you’re unable to attend the event but have a question you would like answered using GDELT, or an interesting project idea, feel free to contact me and we’ll see about getting it done!
We are using Hacker League to organize the event, so please visit the webpage to let us know if you will be attending. If you have questions, comments, or anything else, please feel free to contact me at jub270 [at] psu [dot] edu.