Syria Crisis Interactive Timeline

SumAll.org created a data visualization of the Syria crisis since the chemical attacks. The timeline is based on a combination data sources, such as Tweets in Arabic and English, UN statistics, event descriptions, as well as "most shared" images of the day. The result is a chilling timeline of the event sequence since the chemical attacks and a snapshot of the global conversation.

 

Why this project?

The public is relatively used to having sophisticated dashboards and data visualizations in business, e.g. stock charts, sports. Ironically, the most pressing issues of our time don't have a dashboard, such as global crisis, wars, environmental disasters.

Sumall.org started this project to give the public direct, unfiltered, and un-commented access to the publicly available data of global issues and crisis.

Some Insights

The data sheds a revealing light on the anatomy of a crisis and the how the global public processes news:

* Just by looking at the progression of "most shared" images reveals how the public perceives the crisis: it starts with CNN images, then images of victims, mostly children, cats (!), political reaction, finally cartoons & jokes.
* The volume of tweets reflects the outrage triggered by the images of victims and the relatively lower engagement in the political repercussions.
* Humor as a way to cope with a crisis seems to be universal: cartoons are in Arabic and English language
* There is very pro-Assad activity in public opinion, also the capabilities and know-how of the Syrian regime to mobilize pubic opinion in social media seems limited.

See Full Visualization