Mapping the conflict in Syria

For the data story assignment, I would like to present data that I found on the current conflict in Syria while working on a GIS project. I will be using crowdsourced maps such as Syria Tracker and Open Street Map, which are based on the work of local volunteers, to map the conflict in Syria.

I am currently leaning how to use GIS, which is the study of geospatial information, and I thought it would be interesting to use the geospatial data I am currently working with, to tell a story, a story of conflict and its link to geographic features.

Syria Tracker has geospatial data on the number of deaths “resulting from the Assad regime”, recorded by volunteers on the ground since March 2011. Although this data must be taken with a grain of salt, it gives a good overview of patterns such as female as opposed to male casualties, and the location of casualties amongst the opposition forces and the population living within opposition control.

Open Street Map on the other hand, gives an overview of the main roads, waterways and land cover in Syria. By overlaying different data sets, one could visualize if there is any link between conflict density and proximity to roads for example.

Below is an example of a crowdsourced map which shows the main roads in the country. I plan on producing a more comprehensive map for this assignment but please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement.

—  Elissar

 

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