Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
December 1–3, 2015 • Singapore

GDELT + BigQuery: Understanding global society through SQL

Felipe Hoffa (Google), Kalev Leetaru (GDELT Project (
11:00am–11:40am Thursday, 12/03/2015
Hadoop & Beyond
Location: 328-329 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.75, 8 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

There is no prerequisite knowledge required to understand this talk. While those with a basic understanding of SQL and large data analytics will be able to directly utilize the insights from the talk in their own work, the talk as a whole is designed to be accessible to those with no experience or background in its technical areas.


In this session:

  • Learn what GDELT is – an open dataset of the last 36 years of worldwide events and narratives, updated in real time and live-translated from 65 languages
  • Learn how to access GDELT, with live queries exploring the past, present, and possible future of the worldwide news

Put simply, the GDELT Project is a real-time open data global graph over human society as seen through the eyes of the world’s news media, reaching deeply into local events, reaction, discourse, and emotions of the most remote corners of the world in near-real time, and making all of this available as an open data firehose to enable research over human society.

This talk will explore both the technical underpinnings and workflows of the GDELT Project, and how Google BigQuery is enabling GDELT to explore real-time whole-of-data exploration of the underlying patterns of global human society through the eyes of the world’s news media.

Kalev Leetaru, the founder of the GDELT Project, will spend the first half of the presentation discussing everything from the technical to the methodological to the sociological issues in building one of the world’s largest open data platforms on human society. Felipe Hoffa, developer advocate for Google BigQuery, will take the second half of the presentation to walk through a number of case examples of how BigQuery is enabling real-time whole-of-data access to GDELT that enables the kind of speed-of-thought exploration simply not possible in previous architectures.

Photo of Felipe Hoffa

Felipe Hoffa


Felipe Hoffa is a developer advocate for big data at Google, where he inspires developers around the world to leverage the Google Cloud Platform tools to analyze and understand their data in ways they could never before. You can find him in several videos, blog posts, and conferences around the world.

Kalev Leetaru

GDELT Project (

Dr. Kalev H. Leetaru founded and leads the GDELT Project, which monitors the world’s broadcast, print, and web news media in over 150 languages in realtime and identifies the events, narratives and emotions driving global society, creating a free open platform for computing on the entire world. One of Foreign Policy Magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013, he is a senior fellow at the Auburn University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security and a past council member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government. He was previously a fellow and adjunct faculty in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. His work focuses on how innovative applications of the world’s largest datasets, computing platforms, algorithms and mindsets can reimagine the way we understand and interact with our global world.