Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

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 CSS guidelines for mapping 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)

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Net Effects

Ballooning digital campaign teams; early registration deadlines kept millions of people from voting in 2012; love letters to Obamacare; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Data-Driven

Get to know Clinton's digital team even better; Ted Cruz election announcement-related fundraising offers peak into the coming data-driven campaign arms race; New York City launches online community engagement pilot program called IdeaScale; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Too Much Information

Will Facebook become the Walmart of News?; Hillary Clinton's digital team; how easy it is to get your hands on 4.6 million license plate scans; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Firsts

Political reporters use Yik Yak to pep up stories about Ted Cruz's campaign announcement; The New York Times, Buzzfeed and National Geographic may agree to let Facebook host their news on its servers; Google fiber users to soon get targeted television ads; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Cowed

TedCruz.com for president; Meerkat fever; who does Facebook work for (probably not you); Medium, "the billionaire's typewriter"; and much, much more. GO

More