Data Designer

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A World of Terror

 At first glance this visualisation by Periscopic may seem a bit overwhelming. There is a lot of information on this one page, and it may be hard to know where to start. But give it just a few moments. You'll start to really appreciate how such a large dataset has been made accessible via a very clever encoding method. 

In short, we are presented with the reach, frequency and impact of 25 terrorist organisations around the world. By using a smart combination of bar charts, timelines, density grids and small multiples we're able to quickly compare the activity of these organisations, view their geographic reach and see which is the most deadly. 

There are over 3,065 organizations and groups listed in the GTD (Global Terrorism Database). To identify the top 25 organizations who used terrorist tactics, we determined the groups with the most killings, the most wounded, and the most incidents. We wanted to make sure we were inclusive of all actions, including those that neither wounded nor killed. We aggregated these 3 lists and took the top 25 organizations (most were in the top 30 for all 3 categories). These top 0.8% of groups account for over 26% of the 125,087 incidents.

The data is freely available on the Global Terrorism Database, an open-source project run by the University of Maryland.

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