Friday's Food For Thought: Mapping Terrorism

Visualizing attacks around the world

By Lindsay Tilton Mitchell

July 22, 2016

According to Statista, approximately 130,000 fatalities worldwide between 2006 and 2013 can be attributed to terrorism—and this number continues to grow.

Designer Milan Vuckovic visualized the spread of terrorism between 2001 and 2015 in a timelapse map using data from the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database to plot every terrorist attack that killed 21 or more people. 

More recently, Esri created a story map to visualize worldwide terror attacks that have taken place so far in 2016. The map uses crowdsourced data from Wikipedia and is updated in near real-time to present a chronology of attacks. The colors on the map represent specific terrorist groups, such as ISIL, Boko Haram, and others, while the size of the circles represent how many people were killed in the attack. Users can also click on individual incidents to learn more.

In an effort to quell the spread of terrorist propaganda, Facebook and YouTube are automating the process of removing extremist videos from their websites, reports Reuters. The U.S. government is also taking to social media to fight terrorism. The Honorable Michael D. Lumpkin said at USGIF’s GEOINT 2016 Symposium in May that the U.S. State Department’s new Global Engagement Center aims to create marketing and communication campaigns to disrupt and counter terrorist messaging online.

 

Photo Credit: Esri