Home Visualizing the Wikileaks Data

Visualizing the Wikileaks Data

A group of hackademics took the Wikileaks activity data from the Afghanistan war and mapped it, creating a video visualization of the events. The 91,000 documents track events including friendly fire and civilian injuries and death over the course of the last six years.

According to Mike Dewar, a post-doc student at Columbia University’s School of Engineering, the heatmap, which runs at ten days per second, was based on the “number of events logged in a small region of the map over a 1 month window.”

“The intensity of the heatmap represents the number of events logged. The colour range is from 0 to 60+ events over a one month window. We cap the colour range at 60 events so that low intensity activity involving just a handful of events can be seen – in lots of cases there are many more than 60 events in one particular region.”

In addition to Dewar, the map was created by Drew Conway, a PhD student in Politics at NYU, John Myles White, a PhD candidate in Psychology at Princeton and Harlan Harris, a statistical programmer Kaplan Test Prep. The group wrote the code as part of the New York August bit.ly hackathon. The code the group wrote to make the heatmap animation is available at github.

This group’s isn’t the only data visualization to result from the Wikileaks release. Which ones have you seen that have affected you in a particular way, have illustrated a heretofore illusive reality of the war or otherwise helped you clarify an aspect of this conflict? Let us know in the comments.

Visualisation of Activity in Afghanistan using the Wikileaks data from Mike Dewar on Vimeo.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.