See history unfold through Wikipedia through space and time. This animation sequence shows the view of world history 1800-2012 captured by the English-language Wikipedia. Every mention of a location or date anywhere in any article across all four million Wikipedia articles was extracted and each location connected to the closest date to place it on a map. All locations mentioned in an article together with the same year are connected together. Thus, what you see is what Wikipedia had to say about each year 1800-present: which locations were mentioned the most and which locations were mentioned alongside each other, showing our evolving ever-connected world.
This sequence renders the intensity of global connections. Every connection between every pair of cities each year is displayed, using transparency so that areas with few links are dim, while areas with many links are bright. For more information on this project, visit: http://www.sgi.com/go/wikipedia/
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of SGI in providing the computing resources to create this visualization.