One of the most important trends in political science is the growth in subnational, geographically disaggregated quantitative research. The prerequisite for this research, of course, is having plentiful and high-quality georeferenced data. The software for generating georeferenced data are often difficult to build, scarce, or not easy to use. As part of my work with the Open Event Data Alliance to generate high-quality, freely available political event data, I’ve taken what I think is perhaps the best open source news text geocoding system, MIT’s CLIFF and packaged it into a virtual machine in the hope that anyone can set it up for their own use in a matter of minutes.
Two weeks ago, I went to the fall conference for the European Conflict Research Network (ENCoRe) in Uppsala, Sweden. The research projects that the (exceptionally welcoming) presenters detailed are really interesting and almost universally involve the production of new datasets. I presented a paper I wrote with John Beieler on some of the work we’re doing with PETRARCH, the Open Event Data Alliance (OEDA), and the production of new event data.