A global pulse of big data, applied for good

An animated introduction to the UN's Global Pulse initiative.

The United Nations Global Pulse initiative is an effort to harness the power of big data and analytics to better understanding how the world is changing. The video embedded below, released today, explains more about what UN Global Pulse is trying to achieve:

Video credits:

  • Production Development: Christine Outram, Peter Hirshberg, Anoush Rima Tatevossian
  • Animation: Filippo Camedda
  • Voice Over: Alice Kariuki

UN Global Pulse was featured in the Sunday edition of the New York Times as an example of big data’s impact on the world:

Global Pulse, a new initiative by the United Nations, wants to leverage Big Data for global development. The group will conduct so-called sentiment analysis of messages in social networks and text messages — using natural-language deciphering software — to help predict job losses, spending reductions or disease outbreaks in a given region. The goal is to use digital early-warning signals to guide assistance programs in advance to, for example, prevent a region from slipping back into poverty.

Robert Kirkpatrick, the director of UN Global Pulse, spoke at the 2011 Strata Summit. Video of his talk is embedded below.