Mapping Arms Data: The Trade in Small Arms and Their Ammunition, 1992-2011 (Igarape Institute + PRIO)

Mapping Arms Data: The Trade in Small Arms and Their Ammunition, 1992-2011 (Igarape Institute + PRIO)

A really snazzy interactive visualization from the Igarape Institute in Rio Janeiro and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) based on the small arms and ammunition tool developed by Google’s Creative Lab and Google Ideas. The project, which includes data from 73,000 records from 37 different sources collected between 1992 and 2011, maps the global trade in small arms and ammunition between 260 nations and territories. This is no small trade: the US alone exported over $800 million in small arms and ammo and imported over $1 billion, while Brazil has quickly become a major player, exporting $330 million in 2011.

Beyond highlighting arms connections between countries (Brazil constituted over a tenth of US arms imports in 2011), the visualization and its timeline place the spotlight on sensitive global situations in Pakistan, Israel, Thailand, etc. The data also manages to underscore the increasingly important role of east asia in supplying arms to the militias of developing countries with questionable policies (See South Korean exports to Pakistan in 2000 & 2005 or Chinese exports to Sudan in 2005).

More from The Igarape Institute:

The Igarape Institute collected data from 73,000 records of the export and import of small arms, light weapons and ammunition from more than 262 states and territories for the decade ending in 2011.

Robert Muggah, the research director at Igarape, says the online tool – and its availability on the internet – has influenced the debate on the global arms trade.

“It’s fundamental that we start thinking about ways of digitising the research that we do as think tanks, as research institutes, as advocacy organisations,” Mr Muggah told the BBC at the Igarape Institute in Rio de Janeiro.

The visualization itself was created using the WebGL globe, an open platform for geographic data visualization that allows for interactive, 3D representation of geodata.

Mapping Arms Data – The Trade in Small Arms and Their Ammunition, 1992-2011.

Rio de Janeiro’s Igarape Institute Visualizes Global Arms Trade

via Andrew Ma