Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Mapping the 2015 Hajj Crush

During last year's Hajj hundreds of pilgrims were crushed to death in Mecca. The Hajj is the largest annual gathering of people in the world. The large increase in pilgrim numbers over the last two decades has resulted in a number of tragic accidents and crushes which have resulted from the overcrowding.

The New York Times has published an interactive account of last year's tragic events, told from the perspective of Rashid Siddiqui, a survivor of the crush that led to so many deaths. This account includes a story map which visualizes the route of Rashid's pilgrimage, the location of his tent, the route he took to the Kaaba and the site of the crush.

As you scroll through the Times' How One of the Deadliest Hajj Accidents Unfolded the map zooms in and pans to highlight various locations in Rashid's journey. The map itself consists of an aerial view of Mecca, overlaid with place labels and colored polygons showing where pilgrims from different parts of the world camp. The map attempts to explain some of the events on the ground which led to the tragic crush, near the intersection of Street 204 and Street 223, which caused so many deaths.

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