This visualization - 'A History of the World in 100 Seconds' - is
fascinating. And instructive. (The missing byline is that it's a history
of the world according to Wikipedia). Apologies for cross-posting and/or
if you've seen it before - it seems to have been made about 2 months ago.
From the makers: "Many wikipedia articles have coordinates. Many have
references to historic events. Me (@godawful) and Tom Martin
(@heychinaski) cross referenced the two to create a dynamic
visualization of Wikipedia's view of world history. Watch as empires
fall, wars break out and continents are discovered.
This won "Best Visualization" at Matt Patterson's History Hackday in
January, 2011. To make it, we parsed an xml dump of all wikipedia
articles (30Gb) and pulled out 424,000 articles with coordinates and
35,000 references to events. Cross referencing these produced 15,500
events with locations. Then we mapped them over time."
On the video's vimeo page, there are a whole lot of interesting comments
- like this one: "so cool! really incredible how euro-centric it is. i
wonder what it would look like if events were weighted by their
appearance in the non-english wikipedias?"
More here: http://africasacountry.com/2011/04/06/a-history-of-the-world/
And here: http://vimeo.com/19088241