How would you take a data set released by Wikileaks and visualize it to see activity in Afghanistan over time? As part of this week’s theme of war data, I present a visualization based on leaked war data.
Mike Dewar writes this about the visualization:
This is a visualisation of activity in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2009 based on the Wikileaks data set. Here we’re thinking of activity as the number of events logged in a small region of the map over a 1 month window. These events consist of all the different types of activity going on in Afghanistan.
The intensity of the heatmap represents the number of events logged. The colour range is from 0 to 60+ events over a one month window. We cap the colour range at 60 events so that low intensity activity involving just a handful of events can be seen – in lots of cases there are many more than 60 events in one particular region. The heatmap is constructed for every day in the period from 2004-2009, and the movie runs at 10 days per second.
The orange lines represent the major roads in Afghanistan, and the black outlines are the individual administrative regions.
This visualization makes me think of all of the military and civilian lives lost in this war in a way that simply reading a spreadsheet would not. Red equals blood to me.
What do you think of this visualization of Afghanistan hotspots? Are the creators exercising their democratic right to access government data, or should they have shunned its use on principle?
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