Open source maps tell data journalism stories in Afghanistan

Open data, a map and the Internet share the story of violence against journalists in Afghanistan

Late last month, Internews and their local partner Nai Mediawatch launched a new website that shows incidents of violence against journalists in Afghanistan. Data.nai.org.af charts attacks on the media onto an interactive map of Afghanistan, embedded below. The map can be used to see the relative safety of provinces of time or view more about the media landscape in the war-torn country. The data (.CSV) of the attacks, collected with funding from USAID, is open to the public and any civic media organizations that wish to analyze it further.

Development Seed operations manager Bonnie (@Bonnie) Bogle writes in to explain more about the open source mapping tools made the launch possible:

The maps were designed using TileMill, our map design studio. We have led capacity building with the local staff of Nai and Internews this week on how to use TileMill, including training sessions on adapting current workflows to produce map-ready data to strategizing around map design. The site is lightweight and uses only HTML, CSS, and Javascript, leveraging the power of Wax, a collection of tools that make it easier to publish custom maps. Using these open source tools is critical to ensuring the long term sustainability of this site as Nai’s dataset is growing every day. Nai also hopes to soon translate the site into Dari and Pashto.”

The statistics are grim. As Paul Goodman highlights at PBS Mediashift, 10 years of violence against journalists in Afghanistan, the country is among the most dangerous in the world for those brave enough to try to report what’s happening.

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