Our first collaboration with The Guardian, a time lapse map of Syrian casualties

Online activists are having a key role documenting the ongoing civil war in Syria. As this terrible war unfolds, they are posting dozens of videos and live streams on the internet, and curating data to fight the so-called “electronic war”.

“The regime is fighting the people in two ways. One is with the army. The other is with the media,” says Yahya Abdulrahman, a physics student from Aleppo University, as quoted by The Guardian’s correspondent in Aldana, Northern Syria.

One of these online activists involved in “the media war” is curating a casualties database based on information from several websites that have already documented killings or casualties from direct sources. The “Syrian Revolution Martyr Database” (www.SyrianShuhada.com) currently collects detailed info and links to 22.601 deaths since March, 2011. 

The man behind the project has shared with us the data, also used by UN, and we’ve made a time based map visualisation showing all Syria casualties. 

We’ve been in touch with Simon Rogers (@smfrogers), The Guardian’s DataBlog editor, with whom we’ve shared the map. It’s published here

The Vizzuality team worked on the visualization. The map is powered by CartoDB to manage and serve the timeseries data and uses d3.js for the animated datapoints and graph.

The man behind the Syrian Suhada database —who did not share his personal information— launched the project in early May 2011. He designed the website and back-end database, and populated it initially with the first available data on casualties. Currently a team of 2 curate the data contained on the site.

“Data completeness and quality is maintained through the merging and cross-referencing of multiple independent datasources”, says the project founder in an email. 

We want to thank the SyrianShuhada.com’s editor for sharing the data with us, and Simon Rogers for his support and collaboration. We are happy to work with The Guardian on these types of projects. 

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