Uppsala Conflict Data Program Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP-GED)

Dataset date

Citation Information:

  • Title: Uppsala Conflict Data Program Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP-GED)
  • Edition: Version 19.1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Data Form: tabular, spatial points, dyadic
  • Publisher: Uppsala University
  • Online Host: https://ucdp.uu.se/downloads/
  • DANTE Citekey: Sundberg2013

Dataset Contact Information:

Erik Melander, Department of Peace and Conflict Research & Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) Uppsala University 
Ralph Sundberg, Department of Peace and Conflict Research & Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) Uppsala University 

Dataset Strengths:

  • High spatial resolution; disaggregated to village.
  • Integrated with several additional UCDP datasets.

Dataset Weaknesses:

  • Challenging to harmonize battle actors with datasets outside of UCDP.
  • Restricted definition of ‘armed conflict’.


The UCDP GED is an event dataset that disaggregates three types of organized violence (state-based conflict, non-state conflict, and one-sided violence) both spatially and temporally. Each event – defined as an instance of organized violence with at least one fatality – comes with date, geographical location, and identifiers that allow the dataset to be linked to and merged with other UCDP datasets. The first version of the dataset covers events of fatal violence on the African continent between 1989 and 2010. This article, firstly, introduces the rationale for the new dataset, and explains the basic coding procedures as well as the quality controls. Secondly, we discuss some of the data’s potential weaknesses in representing the universe of organized violence, as well as some potential biases induced by the operationalizations. Thirdly, we provide an example of how the data can be used, by illustrating the association between cities and organized violence, taking population density into account. The UCDP GED is a useful resource for conflict analyses below the state and country-year levels, and can provide us with new insights into the geographical determinants and temporal sequencing of warfare and violence.

Use Constraints:

The data are freely available for academic use and other non-commercial use. Redistribution, or commercial use, is not allowed without prior permission. Using the data to create maps for academic publishing is allowed.


The Uppsala Conflict Data Program Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP-GED; v18.1) is one of a number of recently developed high disaggregated armed conflict datasets. Similar to The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED; Raleigh et al. (2010)), The Social Conflict Analysis in Africa Database (SCAD; Salehyan et al. (2012)), and the Militarized Interstate Dispute Locations (MIDL v4.3; Maoz et al. (2018)) datasets, UCDP-GED presents dyadic conflict data with high spatial resolution; often geo-located to the village. Although these datasets were initially released with restricted geographic scope (with the exception of MIDL), they all expanded their spatial reach significantly over the past 5-10 years. UCDP-GED is currently advertised as a global dataset of armed conflict, ACLED encompasses Africa, South Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America, and SCAD has expanded to include Africa, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

These datasets are similar in nature, but can vary greatly in their reporting criteria and supplementary information. Eck (2012) recently reviewed the fundamental differences between UCDP-GED and ACLED. ACLED is the only source for non-violent conflict related events like troop movements and governmental aid, however, UCDP-GED provides superior data for violence and fatalities. Additional underlying discrepancies include the minimum number of deaths recorded for an event, the intensity or nature of violence, criteria for actor organization level, and numerous metadata fields that facilitate analysis such as actor ids, actor state sponsorship, and event ids. Therefore, when using these datasets in conjunction with another or comparing results between them, it’s important to maintain consideration for their underlying differences.

Screenshot or Representative Figure:

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Figure 1: Uppsala Conflict Data Program Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP-GED; v18.1) recorded battles in Iraq during 1989-2017.

Figure 1: Uppsala Conflict Data Program Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP-GED; v18.1) recorded battles in Iraq during 1989-2017.


Eck, Kristine. 2012. “In Data We Trust? A Comparison of UCDP GED and ACLED Conflict Events Datasets.” Cooperation and Conflict 47 (1): 124–41. https://doi.org/10.1177/0010836711434463.

Maoz, Zeev, Paul L. Johnson, Jasper Kaplan, Fiona Ogunkoya, and Aaron P. Shreve. 2018. “The Dyadic Militarized Interstate Disputes (MIDs) Dataset Version 3.0: Logic, Characteristics, and Comparisons to Alternative Datasets.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, July, 0022002718784158. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002718784158.

Raleigh, Clionadh, Andrew Linke, Håvard Hegre, and Joakim Karlsen. 2010. “Introducing ACLED: An Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset: Special Data Feature.” Journal of Peace Research 47 (5): 651–60. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343310378914.

Salehyan, Idean, Cullen S. Hendrix, Jesse Hamner, Christina Case, Christopher Linebarger, Emily Stull, and Jennifer Williams. 2012. “Social Conflict in Africa: A New Database.” International Interactions 38 (4): 503–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050629.2012.697426.

Additional Metadata

Metadata Submission Contact:

Joshua BrinksISciences, LLC 

Spatial Information:

Spatial Reference Information:

  • Coordinate System: Latitude / Longitude
  • Resolution:
  • Units: decimal degrees
  • Geodetic Model:

Time Period Information:

  • Beginning Date: 1989
  • Ending Date: 2018
  • Resolution: daily

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