Thursday, April 18, 2013

Introducing Global Terrorism Data

Global Terrorism Database is one of the data source introduced in the first class. This database (GTD) has been managed by University of Maryland. It has records from 1970 through 2011 and keeps on piling up recent data related to terrorism activities. It is provided with csv file format, which is plain text, and when transporting it to Excel, the data set will be shown like below.

Each record consists of 98 attributes including ID, time, location, target, weapon, and so on. It is basically a time-series data set. Considering this property, GTD site also provides a graphical interface with this data set, called GTD Data Rivers which generates and shows a diagram like a big flow of water. 

The Combo box at the top of the screen shows the list of attributes users can choose. The main part of the screen demonstrates the change of terrorism activities corresponding to the choice users made over time. Adjusting the red bar at the left bottom, users can narrow down the focus they want to see. The right bottom part of the screen illustrates the amount of each element in the Data Rivers above.

1 comment:

  1. I find it very interesting that there was a significant drop in terrorism worldwide before 9/11 and the huge growth after 9/11. I can see from the visualization that there was a big jump in terrorist acts in Iraq and Pakistan which are fairly explainable(most likely acts of terror vs the American military invading their country.) Its interesting that terrorism nearly ceases to exist in Northern Ireland and Columbia/Peru ( which are countries that seem to not have any involvement with 9/11. Overall, I find this data base very interesting and wonder if there are ways that big data analytics will impact the predictions of terrorist attacks.