Whilst I was on holiday, a terrorist killed nearly fifty people in Christchurch, New Zealand. Except this time, he was a white man and the victims were all Muslims. Admittedly, I really did not read much about it until I returned to the States, but it clearly is not a thing I was expecting out of New Zealand. But the Economist looked at the question of whether this shooting is more of another in a pattern or a one-off.
The graphic does a fairly good job of showing the increasing frequency of right-wing/white nationalist terror attacks. From a design standpoint, the nice touch is the use of transparency to show overlapping events. For example, the concentric circles for Utoya and Oslo show the two Anders Breivik attacks in Norway.
You could arguably say the treatment begins to fail, however, in the US/Canada timeline. Here, regrettably, there are often too many attacks in too close proximity that the dots are too overlaid. Here I wonder if some other method of stacking or offsetting the incidents could work.
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist data team.
Yesterday the French Catholic community of Rouen was attacked by an alleged IS terror group. In the aftermath the BBC put together a graphic published inside a broader piece. The graphic documented the recent history of terror attacks in France.
When you read or scroll through the overall piece, a bit more symmetry could be added by aligning dates to the central column. That would make the dates more easily comparable. Though it should be noted the important point is made by the rapid clustering of events in the most recent time period.
And for a personal quibble, I believe that timelines are more effective when the most recent date is at the top. Presume the timeline starts in the 1950s during the middle of the Algerian War fought between France and Algeria, which at the time was an integral part of France. Would we want to read all those incidents from the 1950s and 60s? Likely no. Instead, we could scroll down the entirety of the piece. Here, however, we start in the relative calm of 2012, 2013, and early 2014.
Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.
Last week we witnessed the lorry attack in Nice, France. This week we have the axeman attack on a German train. Does anybody note, however, the recent terror attacks in Dhaka, Bangladesh? Probably not, according to this insightful piece from FiveThirtyEight. They took a look at journalism’s coverage of terror attacks and whether there are discrepancies based on geography. Turns out that yes, there are. But, the article does make a point to note some reasons why that might be. One, we have covered it a lot more often since 11 September 2001. Anyway, the whole piece is worth a read.
Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.
The terror attacks in Paris and Brussels were bad. But even worse? The two attacks exposed a network of IS terrorists living within the Schengen Area. Are there cells or even other networks? One way of uncovering them would be to examine the links between the known terrorists and see if additional nodes appear at the network’s fringes. Given Friday’s piece from the New York times examining the links between the known terrorists, investigators in Europe are likely doing just that.
Credit for the piece goes to Larry Buchanan, Haeyoun Park, Sarah Almukhtar, Josh Keller, Sergio Peçanha, and Tim Wallace.
ISIS is still a threat to the Middle East, evidenced by the US announcing yesterday that it is intensifying strikes against the quasi-state in both Syria and Iraq. But just where has ISIS spread? And are its attacks spreading? This New York Times piece looks at just those two questions. The first through an obvious map.
What the map does is show you where ISIS has attacked around the world over all time. So yes, it has global reach. But the map alone cannot show you if things are improving or getting worse. For that you need a visualisation type that can plot things over time. And as aforementioned, the piece includes that as well.
Unfortunately, it appears that yes, ISIS is attacking or at least attempting to attack more targets in more countries both within and without the Middle East and its declared provinces.
Credit for the piece goes to Karen Yourish, Derek Watkins, and Tom Giratikanon.
For those of you don’t know, there is an Islamist group operating in northeastern Nigeria. And they have been for a few years now. But recently they devastated a town and killed somewhere between 150 and 2000 people. Now they have taken to kidnapping Cameroonians, who live across the border, but whose government has been taking military action against Boko Haram. In this context, the BBC put together a map that shows the spread and scale of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.
Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.
Last week’s terror attacks in Paris highlight the tension in Europe between secular Europe and those believing in Islamist values. The Economist looked at some of the available data and noted the gap between Europe’s perception of Islam and its reality. A quick figure called out for France, French respondents thought 31% of the French population to be Muslim. The reality is a mere 8%.
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist Data Team.
Last week many American observed 11 September in remembrance of the terror attacks that brought down the Twin Towers, a section of the Pentagon, and four airliners in total. So this week we are going to see some fantastic work from Periscopic that highlights several other terror groups operating in the world across the last few decades.
The charts work as a timeline from 1970 through 2013 and then vertically from January through December. Above and below the timeline, respectively, are the numbers of people killed and wounded. When shown as small multiples, the overall piece can show you which groups have been active and lethal, active but without lots of fatal attacks, and those that are fading out or fading in.
After the capture this weekend of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the Washington Post published an interactive piece that looked at the entirety of the story. It captured the bombing, looked at the investigation, then the manhunt, and finally the capture of one of the suspects.
The piece incorporated static diagrams along with video and interactive navigation to tell the story in day-sized chunks on the screen. When taken together as one whole piece, it is quite impressive.
Credit for the piece goes to what may well be the entire graphics staff of the Washington Post: Wilson Andrews, Darla Cameron, Emily Chow, Alberto Cuadra, Kat Downs, Laris Karklis, Todd Lindeman, Katie Park, Gene Thorp, and Karen Yourish.
Terrorism is not new to the United States. As this graphic from the New York Times shows, even in recent decades, we experienced quite a lot of it. In 1970 there were over 400 attacks. However, since 2001, the United States has seen far fewer attacks. Fortunately the Boston Marathon bombing is not as bad as it could have been. But even then, thankfully the bombing is a relative anomaly.
Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of the Times.