18thFeb2016

A Wikidata/DBpedia Geography of Violence

We have taken data available in Wikidata and DBpedia on 'Military Conflicts' to create this interactive visualisation in nodegoat:

Wikidata

From the outside, it can be a challenge to keep up with all the developments within the ever expanding universe of wiki*/*pedia. So it's good to be reminded now and then of all the structured data that has become available thanks to their efforts:

This looks pretty neat, especially since Wikidata currently has over 947 million triples in their data store. Since battles usually have a place and a date, it would be nice to import this data into a data design in nodegoat and visualise these battles through time and space (diachronic geospatiality ftw).

So we checked the Wikidata sparql-endpoint to see what we can work with. Currently, there are 8049 instances of battles . If we select all the battles that have a location and a date, we are left with 410 battles. This query does not take into account that the location may be stored on a deeper level (as these battles may have a ‘place’ that has a location) and that the date may be stored as a ‘start time’ and ‘end time’. To take this into account, we use the following query:

PREFIX wd: < http://www.wikidata.org/entity/>
PREFIX wdt: < http://www.wikidata.org/prop/direct/>
PREFIX rdfs: < http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#>

SELECT ?subject ?label ?coordinates
(CONCAT(STR(DAY(?date)),"-",STR(MONTH(?date)),"-",STR(YEAR(?date))) as ?displaydate)
(CONCAT(STR(DAY(?start)),"-",STR(MONTH(?start)),"-",STR(YEAR(?start))) as ?displaystart)
(CONCAT(STR(DAY(?end)),"-",STR(MONTH(?end)),"-",STR(YEAR(?end))) as ?displayend)
WHERE {
  ?subject wdt:P31 wd:Q178561 .
  OPTIONAL { ?subject rdfs:label ?label FILTER (lang(?label) = "en") . }
  OPTIONAL { ?subject wdt:P580 ?start . }
  OPTIONAL { ?subject wdt:P582 ?end . }
  OPTIONAL { ?subject wdt:P625 ?coordinates . }
  OPTIONAL { ?subject wdt:P585 ?date . }
  OPTIONAL {
    ?subject wdt:P276 ?location .
    ?location wdt:P625 ?coordinates .
  }
  OPTIONAL {
   ?subject wdt:P361 ?war .
   ?war wdt:P580 ?start .
   ?war wdt:P582 ?end .
  }
}

Here we use OPTIONAL to be able to include all available objects (even if they miss a property). Eventually we gathered 2657 battles that have both a location and a date. After a bit of cleaning (you can do this in Open Refine, or even in LibreOffice Calc or Excel), we've imported this set into nodegoat:

You can use the timeline to scroll through time. We’ve added a colour scheme to differentiate between periods in time. Click here to view this in a new window. Clicking a dot opens a dialogue with a link to the object in Wikidata.

DBPedia

Last Friday, we noticed the buzz around the #dbpediadenhaag event and the discussions about the data DBPedia has harvested from Wikipedia. So we queried the DBpedia sparql-endpoint to see what battles they have in store. We found 12674 instances of MilitaryConflict. Of these, 4022 have date and location properties.

SELECT DISTINCT ?battle (SAMPLE(?dates) as ?date) ?location WHERE {
?battle rdf:type dbo:MilitaryConflict .
?battle dbo:date ?dates .
?battle georss:point ?location .
}

If we look a level deeper for dates and locations we get 10116 battles that have a place and a date reference. The dates are messier than the dates available through Wikidata (as these have been harvested), so a bit more clean up is required here to get a workable list. Once we’ve imported this into nodegoat, we get this result. We can also combine both sets (with a total of 12703 records). And highlight the provenance of each dot.

Most of the differences are a result of the messy dates in DBpedia. For example, compare dbp:date in this DBpedia record with the date in the infobox (which DPpedia harvests) of the original Wikipedia article. Other differences are due to the fact that we picked one location per battle and rounding of the latitude and longitude values.

Furthermore, we found that very little statements in Wikidata had a proper reference and most of them referenced only to ‘French Wikipedia’/‘English Wikipedia’ etc (which was already noted by this report). See this article on the overlaps/differences between Wikidata and DBpedia.

Connecting the Dots

Once we had this up and running we checked what kind of objects relate to the events we found. There seems to be quite some data on the American Civil War in Wikidata, so we made a query to list the people who were present at the battles we identified earlier. This data allowed us to connect battles based on people who moved from one battle to another.

American Civil War in Wikidata. Since we have the data anyway, we can also use it to make a social network visualisation of this.

We also included the births and deaths of these people to be able to produce this visualisation:

Click here to view this in a new window. The 1957 death is William Lundy, see him singled out here.

Data

CSV-files generated and used:

Comments

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Apr30th2016
Afu University

Thanks a lot, Great !

Apr16th2016
Η γεωγραφία των πολέμων &#8211; Ιωάννης Σάββας &#8211; Ioannis Savvas

[...] on 28/03/2016 by isavas &mdash; Leave a reply Για όσους αμφιβάλουν ακόμη για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και τα ιδεώδη της.    Πηγή: nodegoat Share this: Email Tweet Print This entry was posted in evidence based science by isavas. Bookmark the [...]

Mar20th2016
Steve Wenner

I noticed that the Battle of Dimawe was put on the map for the year 604, rather than 1852.

Mar19th2016
5000 years of violence&#8230;.Interactive map&#8230; &#8211; Heaven and Earth

[...] 19, 2016 March 19, 2016 5000 years of violence&#8230;.Interactive map&#8230;  http://nodegoat.net/blog.p/82.m/14/a-wikidatadbpedia-geography-of-violence (function(g){g.__ATA.initAd({sectionId:26942, width:300, height:250});})(window); Share [...]

Mar16th2016
Visualization of 5,000 Years of War — Blog of the Long Now

[...] 0 Comments 1100Lab has developed a visualization mapping all of the battles in Wikipedia in the last 5,000 years.  Their blog

Mar08th2016
Tutte le battaglie della storia &#8211; La casa di Roberto

[...] testi accademici ma all&#8217;informazione disponibile, e modificabile dal pubblico, su Wikipedia. Il  progetto di raccolta dati olandese  Nodegoat  utilizza un algoritmo per catalogare tutte le fonti, a partire dalle informazioni [...]

Mar06th2016
Sunday Round-up

[...] is actually pretty good value compared with a $68,000 fine in the UAE. War-torn world of the week: The  Dutch project Nodegoat has used the Wikipedia database to create a map of every battle ever fought, on the basis of which I&#8217;m [...]

Mar05th2016
Иван

Беслан закинули на Ангару. Ингушетия южнее и западнее

Mar03rd2016
Steven Nemeth

I miss a lot of battles from the Carpathian Basin. Győri battle against Napoleon, Eger battle against the Turkish army, battle against the Tartars at Muhi,The Siege of Nándorfehérvár (today Belgrade) against Turkish army(since  there every day of the bells at noon),  Matthias  Hungarian king  successful siege of Vienna castle, It is only a few in my memory. This is a very incomplete map.
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eger_ostroma_%281552%29
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhi_csata
http://mult-kor.hu/20100129_amikor_matyas_bus_hadat_nyogte_becs
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%A1ndorfeh%C3%A9rv%C3%A1ri_diadal
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%91szeg_ostroma
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temesv%C3%A1r_ostroma_%281552%29
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szigetv%C3%A1r_ostroma
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kateg%C3%B3ria:Az_1848%E2%80%9349-es_szabads%C3%A1gharc_csat%C3%A1i
https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A1k%C3%B3czi-szabads%C3%A1gharc
Seven Nemeth from Hungary

Mar03rd2016
Ο παγκόσμιος χάρτης της βίας: Οι μεγαλύτερες μάχες των τελευταίων 4.000 ετών σε μία εικόνα | Γαργαλιάνοι Online | Το ειδησεογραφικό portal της Τριφυλίας

[...] των στοιχείων πρέπει να είναι διαρκής, καθώς είναι σε εξέλιξη ακόμη εμπόλεμες συγκρούσεις. Εξερευνήστε τον χάρτη  ΕΔΩ Tweet !function(d,s,id){var [...]

Mar03rd2016
Ed

Fascinating idea. Obviously there's going to be a heavy eurocentric slant but I can't really see a way around that. Noticing a few errors in dates though - apparently there were Eastern European anti-communist insurgencies in 600AD?

Mar03rd2016
V8

War huh what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

Mar02nd2016
Piotr

Great project, yet it needs enhancing. As far as Eastern Europe is concerned, quite a number of battles is missing, for instance 1919-1920 War with Soviet Russia period, while on the other hand sometimes single dots represent several military activities  hundreds miles apart like during 1806-1815 period.

Mar02nd2016
Richard Hope

Excellent work to produce this. There is at least one battle local to me not included. Battle of Gower (Carn Goch), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Llwchwr.
See also further info at http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/404856/details/BATTLE+OF+GOWER%3B+BATTLE+OF+LOUGHOR%2C+CARN+GOCH+COMMON%2C+PENLLERGAER/
Good luck and again, well done.

Mar02nd2016
Οι μάχες των τελευταίων 4.000 ετών σε ένα χάρτη | Πρώτη Σελίδα

[...] μάχη, είναι η μάχη των Zhuolu που έλαβε χώρα στην Κίνα το 2500 π.Χ.. Δείτε και επεξεργαστείτε τον χάρτη  εδώ Κάντε Like το newsbeast.gr Πηγή Κοινοποιήστε: Κλικ για να το μοιραστείτε στο Twitter(Ανοίγει σε νέο παράθυρο) Mοιραστείτε στο [...]

Mar02nd2016
Attila

The battle of Pressburg (907) is placed wrongly around Budapest.
It was around Bratislava...

Mar02nd2016
Joe
Mar02nd2016
Bob

Not there,
The English Civil War battle of Lansdowne (or Lansdown) was fought on 5 July 1643,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lansdowne

Mar02nd2016
Excellent Project

Hi,

Saw link on BBC -- fascinating project but having a play with the data I've spotted an error.

The Battle of Dimawe is recorded on the system as being in AD 604, but the link given makes it clear it was fought in 1852. (I spotted it as the first southern African battle recorded.)

(Being honest this probably shows up a problem with the concept: the error stood out because there is a shortage of records. This probably doesn't mean a shortage of battles.)

Mar02nd2016
Johann Ahlers

How can I assist in more accurately placing the battles having taken place in Southern Africa? (According to your map, a lot of them are located in Pretoria - probably for lack of better info, but there is better information that could be added.)
Would love to contribute.

Mar02nd2016
Bird Jaguar IV King of Yaxchilan

Y'all are missing the many, many Pre-Columbian battles and wars listed in Aztec and Inca sources AND the now translated extant corpus of Classic Maya Stone and ceramic inscriptions.  You appear to record the Caracol v. Tikal war in the mid 6th century, but then nothing until the Spanish Genocide of 1492 onward.

Mar02nd2016
Ole Jørgen Nordhagen

Very impressive! I see that the battle at Hafrsfjord - the final battle during for unification of Norway is missing, due to the lack of an exact geo-location, although scientists agree on the area within a few tens of miles. :P

Mar01st2016
Doi olandezi au realizat o hartă interactivă a diferitelor forme de violență din ultimii 4.000 de ani - Vocea Transilvaniei

[...] făceau referire la totalitatea conflictelor descrise de enciclopedia online Wikipedia. Harta este disponibilă online  AICI. &#8221;Am observat că informațiile disponibile în Wikidata și DBpedia erau bine structurate și am vrut să le folosim [...]

Mar01st2016
Alex

Shell House massacre (1994-03-28), position: -27.8, 114.11666667 in Australia. I guess it's a mistake.

Feb29th2016
Patron Vectras

People love their military history, and have pet factions and battles they will see are missing. Could you add a simple English paragraph explaining what Wikipedia entries need to have their information properly queried? Screenshots of examples and links to properly formatted/filled out info would be awesome.

This way you don't have to keep spending time cleaning data up as much when adding it.Also you might find a military history blog/ magazine that would want to host a definitive version and maintain the data themselves so you don't keep getting bugged to add this battle and that battle for years.

Feb29th2016
Ghali (Western Sahara)

Thank you. It is great job.

Feb29th2016
Alex

Lol, where Battle of Stalingrad in  World War II. Over 2 millions killed. Soviet solders won WW2 almost without help of *Allies*

Feb29th2016
Wall

There is an error for "Battle of Bedriacum". It is shown at 14-04-1969, but actually it was in 69 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bedriacum

Feb28th2016
Feb28th2016
Map of 4,500 Years of Global Conflict | Tipping Point North South

[...] us &#149; Tagged Conflicts, Militarism A Wikidata/DBpedia Geography of Violence  http://nodegoat.net/blog.p/82.m/14/a-wikidatadbpedia-geography-of-violence Share this: Print Email Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Tumblr Reddit Pocket Pinterest [...]

Feb28th2016
Map of World War Shows 4,500 Years of Global Conflict | WebInvestigatorKK

[...] wars since 2500 BC, that illustrates where and when the world&#8217;s conflicts have occurred. A  group of researchers took information from DBpedia in a community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and make it [...]

Feb28th2016
Maria Inés Joo

Brazil conflicts pointed in this map happened when? Please guide me. I do not know of wars in Brazil. Brasilia is in there too but came to exist in 1960 so since then no wars. Which one is wikipedia mentioning to be added to this map? dont rely on wikpedia, cause if you do you result is no reliable

Feb26th2016
nodegoat

Thanks! We'll use that when we update the data.

Feb25th2016
Jan Ainali

Suggestion: if you replace
?subject wdt:P31 wd:Q178561 .
with
?subject wdt:P31 ?sub0 . ?sub0 (wdt:P279)* wd:Q178561 .
You will get all different kinds of battles and some more results.
Test: http://tinyurl.com/zakwz6d

Feb24th2016
nodegoat

Thanks for pointing this out! We answered a similar question here: https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/471hf8/12703_battles_between_2500_bce_and_2015_ce_as/d0ajd5a We've now removed this object and will add it later with the correct location.

Feb23rd2016
Brendan

*derp*
Edit: "This example is a *good* one..."

Since I'm posting a second comment, I may as well elaborate. I think this means it was not a one-off error in what I am seeing, but rather has been present for some time, since you seem to have captured it at some earlier instance.

I could be hugely wrong though, so apologies if so.

Feb23rd2016
Brendan

Very cool visualization. However, there seems to be at least some issue with parsing certain data points.

For example, your map show the "Battle of Hiep Hoa" as taking place in downtown Toronto, rather than Vietnam. http://i.imgur.com/uGA0paa.png

This example is a Google one because it is visible in your screen cap above (caption "DBPedia") as the red dot near Toronto. http://i.imgur.com/fCmWwQp.png

DBPedia ( http://dbpedia.org/page/Battle_of_Hiep_Hoa ) lists lat/long as: 10.914000, 106.316002 which is in Vietnam. However, it appears on your map at and labelled with 43.64256/-79.38713 .

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