Visualizing 10 Years of Violence Against Journalists in Afghanistan

    by Paul Goodman
    July 28, 2011

    Internews and [Nai](http://www.nai.org.af), an Afghan media advocacy organization, have collected hundreds of reports of threats, intimidation, and violence faced by journalists in Afghanistan. We recently announced a new site, [data.nai.org.af](http://data.nai.org.af), which features 10 years of these reports. While Nai’s data previously resided in spreadsheets, the new site allows the public to access hundreds of reports through visualizations and to download it directly. With this site we’re raising the profile of media freedom in a country often characterized as [among the most dangerous in the world for journalists](http://www.cpj.org/killed/asia/afghanistan/).

    ![Violence Against Journalists – data.nai.org.af](http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6149/5975381567_5e4da671eb.jpg)

    A screenshot of data.nai.org.af.


    The site is packed with functionality that allows visitors to interact with the dataset in a variety of ways. Visitors can quickly scan the map to get a national overview of the data. They can drill down on individual provinces and individual years, seeing charts that depict violence over time when they mouse over the dots. If a visitor clicks on a year, they can even browse the data itself in a table just below the map.

    We’ve also allowed visitors to turn on layers that can increase contextual understanding, such as the number of active journalists in each province, the number of media organizations in each province, and so on. Finally, users can download the full dataset and easily generate the code necessary to embed the map on other websites, in electronic press releases, and so on.

    We included all this functionality without compromising one of the most important and desirable features of the site: speed. The maps are [composited](http://developmentseed.org/blog/2011/jun/30/modular-mbtiles-files-compositing-mapbox) ahead of time, significantly reducing the loading time in Afghanistan and other bandwidth-constrained environments. We’ve also included a bit of code that dynamically evaluates each visitor’s connection and serves map tiles that reflect that visitor’s constraints. At the end of the day the maps are fast in spite of poor connections and remain fully interactive.


    All the maps were designed using TileMill, the open source map design studio. Check out [TileMill.com](http://www.tilemill.com/) for more information.

    Violence Against Journalists map featuring ten years of incidents (see [the website](http://data.nai.org.af/) for more data and details):

    Tagged: afghanistan development seed internews journalists mapping media advocacy violence war

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