Maintain a current set of ICEWS events in the local database that match the latest versions on DVN. If needed, create the database and download data files.

  dryrun = TRUE,
  use_db = getOption("icews.use_db"),
  keep_files = getOption("icews.keep_files"),
  db_path = find_db(),
  raw_file_dir = find_raw(),
  quiet = FALSE



Just list changes that would be made, without making them.


Store events in a SQLite database?


If using a database, retain raw data TSV files?


Path to SQLite database file


Directory containing the raw event TSV files.


Don't print progress messages


The behavior of update_icews depends on the ICEWS option values, as set via setup_icews, or alternatively manually specified function arguments. The intended use is with options set in .Rprofile.

If "use_db" and "keep_files" are both true, data files will be downloaded to the "raw" directory in the root ICEWS directory (get_icews_opts()$data_dir), then ingested into a SQLite database in the "db" directory. Each data file is ingested before the next one is downloaded, so that if the process is interrupted there will be at least some data in the database.

If "use_db" is set with "keep_files" as false, data is downloaded to temporary files before ingestion. This saves about 5GB of space as of late 2018.

If "use_db" is false, then regardless of the "keep_files" value, only the raw data files will be downloaded. This is equivalent to download_data().

You can manually replicate what update_icews() does by calling download_data(), followed by sync_db_with_files().


if (FALSE) {
# assuming this is the first time the package is used:
setup_icews("path/to/icews_data", use_db = TRUE, keep_files = TRUE,
            r_profile = TRUE)

# see the plan for the initial download
# update_icews(dryrun = TRUE)

# do the initial download; this will take a while (1hr or so)
# update_icews(dryrun = FALSE)

# call it again in the future to check if updates are needed