The Social, Political and Economic Event Database Project (SPEED)
SPEED is a technology-intensive effort to extract event data from a global archive of news reports covering the Post WWII era. It is designed to provide insights into key behavioral patterns and relationships that are valid across countries and over time. Within SPEED, event data is generated by human analysts using a suite of sophisticated tools to implement carefully structured and pretested protocols. These protocols are category-specific electronic documents that are tailored to the information needs of a particular category of events (civil unrest, property rights, electoral processes, etc.). SPEED data will produce insights that complement those generated by other components of the SID project (constitutional data, archival data, survey-based data, etc.) because event data generates "bottom-up" observations from news reports. In generating these event data SPEED leverages tens of billions of dollars that have been invested in compiling news reports from throughout the world.
Download SPEED Event Data as well as a Google Earth KML file produced using the SPEED data.
The SPEED project is a complex orchestration of many unique supporting components: assembling an archive of digitized news reports for virtually every country in the world January 1, 1946 to present; developing categories of events germane to SID's theoretical framework; devising efficient and reliable procedures to classify millions of news reports within the categorization scheme; identify relevant textual passages in each news report; and create efficient, reliable and technologically enabled procedures to extract information from news reports. This section outlines the core enabling components of the project, such as its Global News Archive, Classification Scheme, Classification Module, Text Annotation Module, and Information Extraction Tools.
Event collection is through a series of survey instruments known as protocols that translate textual news reports into codified event records. The event ontology that structures SPEED's Societal Stability Protocol was developed during a year-long pretest involving the analysis of thousands of news reports.
Several white papers are available that offer more details on key components of the SPEED project.