Would You Tame Data from Wikileaks?

Would you map the data from Wikileaks’ release of US Embassy Cables? If so — what would you show, and how would you show it?

For example, Mark Graham of Zero Geography visualized some of the data from Cablegate, using The Guardian online’s data store.

He blogged the following on November 28th, 2010; I have put the text first, then the image based on the data store after the block quote.

The release of over a quarter of a million US embassy cables by Wikileaks has raised a lot of important questions, and journalists and researchers will undoubtedly spend the next few weeks closely analysing the dataset. In the meantime, here is a quick map that I put together using data from the Guardian’s data store.

It is important to point out that the dataset released by Wikileaks does not contain all cables sent by all US embassies and consulates. It is unclear whether the data in the release were selected according to any specific criteria or if they are a random sample (all of the cables were sent between 1966 and 2010).

In either case, and as one might expect, we see that there are a relatively large number of cables originating in the Middle East. We should therefore expect to hear much more about controversies from the region over the next few days.

Number of US Embassy cables from each city

Image Source: Zero Geography

Floating Sheep has also visualized a map of the list of facilities ‘vital to US security’ released by Wikileaks. The Guardian has put data and visualizations from this leak into the public domain, as have many other news organizations. It is, after all, big business in the name of transparency.

Are you willing to visualize any of the data from Wikileaks’ US Embassy Cable leaks? Why or why not?

[Via the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), Oxford University.]

Jewel Ward
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Jewel Ward

Founder and Consultant at Impact Zone Consultancy
Nice to meet you! I am Jewel Ward, founder of Impact Zone. Our specialties are search engine optimization and digital stewardship for creative industry websites.

We work hard to serve our clients’ needs so they can solve their technology problems. Our goal is to enable our creative clients to succeed digitally in whatever form success means to them.

Here are three fun facts about me. I consider coffee and chocolate food groups. I am an INFJ. I love longboard surfing.
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