A while back, Wikileaks published Military logs from the conflict in Iraq covering the period between 2004 and 2009. The Guardian then published a cleaned-up dataset which categorises every death recorded in the logs, along with a date, time and location.

I’m interested in how we can build things that help us ‘play’ with data – to get a deeper understanding of the patterns (or lack of patterns) within – to let us ‘see’ how things change over time or geography etc. So this dataset seemed like a good starting point for building something…

Note – Theres a lot of data, so it may take some time to load… apparently patience is a virtue anyway. Oh… and it’s not going to work if you’re on certain mobile devices. (and I’m told it misbehaves in some versions of ubuntu – sorry)

The visualisation runs forward in time, plotting each death on a map. Larger circles represent higher numbers of deaths in a single incident.

You can select which categories of info are displayed by clicking on the checkboxes on the right hand side. You can change how quickly the visualisation runs and change how long each dot stays on the screen by moving the sliders on the left.

It’s my first stab at doing something like this, so all feedback much appreciated.

If you want to have a play with the application, it’s written in Processing and here’s the source code. The dataset I used was a cleaned up version of the original wikileaks logs which was published by The Guardian.


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