|Conflicts - tuesday 2007-05-08 1220||last modified 2007-05-08 1230|
|Categories: Nerdy, Current Events|
|TrackBacks Sent: None|
Every year, the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research publishes a "conflict barometer" to describe, as exhaustively as possible, the year's trends in conflicts. Unfortunately, this has been released only in PDF form. I took a bit to extract some of that information and put it into a world conflicts in 2006 display, powered by Exhibit.
I haven't quite gotten to copying out all of the summaries of all the conflicts, mostly because PDF makes that a non-trivial task. Not all of them have summaries in the first place, leaving me to Google to find out what Rwanda and France, and Argentina and Iran are quarreling about. Several institutions release or make available in publicly searchable databases similar information. It might be fun to see how their separate bodies of data could be reconciled.
Part of the inspiration for this came from some Turkish vandals who stopped by our wiki at work and defaced the front page with propaganda relating to the Armenian genocide - an event until then I knew little about, other than that Turkish and Armenian hackers had been carrying on a guerilla web war for some time. The research led to present wars and conflicts, most of which get passed over in reporting.
As for the Armenian genocide, Congress has a resolution stuck in a Senate committee to officially recognize the events of 1915 to 1917 as a genocide. The question, of course, has nothing to do with history and everything to do with which ethnic group hires the most lobbyists.
Some random thoughts on ways to make this exhibit better: sort conflict intensity and change by proper rank instead of alphabetically; color intensities consistently across all views; allow all countries involved in a conflict to be mapped per-conflict instead of just the most geographically pertinent; pick out the actual geographic location of a conflict if relevant instead of the geometric center of the country; put a mini-map next to each conflict in the detail view.
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