Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Mapping the Global Terrorism Database

I recently suggested on Twitter that the Global Terrorism Database might make for a more interesting Torque animated map than all the Twitter related maps which have been so popular lately. The Global Terrorism Database is an open-source database of terrorist attacks around the world from 1970 through 2013.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, who maintain the database, might have been listening because they have just released an Odyssey powered map of terrorist events around the world in 2013.

Global Terrorism, 2013 is an animated map of terrorist attacks around the world from January of 2013 through to the end of the year. As the map animation plays terrorist events are added to the map in chronological order on the date they occurred. During the animation notable events, such as the Boston Marathon Bombings, the siege on the BP gas complex in Algeria, the killing of a British soldier in London and the killing of 72 innocent shoppers at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi are highlighted on the map and reported on in the map sidebar.

The map paints a depressing picture of terrorist activity around the world. Particular hot-spots of terrorist activity can be clearly identified on the map. For example Afghanistan, Pakistan, North-East Asia, Somalia, Algeria and Colombia all suffered from a disproportionate amount of terrorist activity during 2013.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism has also released an impressive WebGL globe visualization plotting the location and frequency of yearly terrorist attacks from 1970-2013.

The WebGL GTD Globe allows you to select any year and visualize terrorist activity around the world during that year on a 3d globe. The countries which suffered from the most terrorist activity in each year are listed in the map sidebar, with details on the number of attacks and the number of fatalities.

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