Let's All Build a MENA Protest Map
BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, February 23 2011
Wikipedia's editable map of recent protests in the Middle East and northern Africa
Wikipedia's entry for the "2010-2011 Middle East and Northern Africa protests" features, naturally, a color-coded map showing the severity of protests across the MENA region.
One neat twist: this being Wikipedia, that map is easily editable -- in this case updating the style sheet, a.k.a. CSS, behind the map -- and you can read through the somewhat fascinating change file. Wikipedia editors discuss and tweak this visual representation of protest over time, making notes like "added a visibility 'stick' for Bahrain," "added Western Sahara as related non-Arab protest," and, on Morocco, "1 (peaceful) march on Sunday...no more protests, can't be considered as major." Taken together, the edit log adds up to a visual record of the protest wave running through the Middle East and northern Africa, as seen through the eyes of Wikipedians.
Above: an animated glimpse at how Wikipedia's collaboratively-edited Middle East and Northern Africa protest map has changed over the last few weeks.
(With Anthony Russomano and Anna Lekas Miller)