Visualization of the Week: CIA rendition flights of terror suspects

The Rendition Project has published an interactive visualization of three year's worth of suspected rendition flights.

The Rendition Project, a collaboration between academics at Kent and Kingston universities and the NGO Reprieve, has developed an interactive visualization of the extent of CIA rendition flights of terror suspects.

In a post at The Guardian’s Datablog, James Ball notes that interactive visualization is the result of three years of research and includes more than 11,000 rows of data on confirmed and suspected rendition flights. The complexity of the data led the Datablog team to develop a guide on how to use the visualization.

First, the guide helps users choose what to look at. The default view, pictured in the screenshot above, displays information on 1,500 flights noted as significant within the data. The guide suggests narrowing this down; the visualization is broken down into circuits of flights:

“Circuits can include original journeys from America, R&R stops in the Caribbean, refuelling stops, and the central rendition journeys themselves.

“The menu on the left-hand side of the graphic gives a range of ways the information can be narrowed down: trips which only take in certain airports can be picked, or particular companies, or particular individuals known to have been targets of rendition. The date range can also be selected using the sliding toggles.”

The guide also defines the color coding — simple flights (where researchers had no strong evidence a suspect was on board) are grey while paler red lines mark “highly suspicious” flights (those with strong evidence of an on-board suspect), for instance. Users are also guided through methods of gathering data on specific flights. Additional information, supporting data and research also can be found on The Rendition Project’s website.

More visualizations:

O’Reilly Strata Conference — Strata brings together the leading minds in data science and big data — decision makers and practitioners driving the future of their businesses and technologies. Get the skills, tools, and strategies you need to make data work.

Strata Rx Health Data Conference: September 25-27 | Boston, MA
Strata + Hadoop World: October 28-30 | New York, NY
Strata in London: November 15-17 | London, England

tags: ,

Get the O’Reilly Data Newsletter

Get weekly insight from industry insiders—plus exclusive content, offers, and more on the topic of data.