US Drone Strike Map

May 30, 2014

Background

Over the last few months I’ve gotten more interested in plotting events on a map. This curiousity merges well with my anger over America’s covert wars in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

In particular, the use of “unmanned combat air vehicles” known more commonly as drones to conduct, “drone strikes”. Drones have played a signifiant role in America’s covert wars. Their use on the battlefield has either been directly responsible, or aided air strikes in remote parts of Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.

The Map

The map below, created with TileMill, Mapbox, and data provided by dronestream paints an alarming picture.

Each point marks a reported strike. Points in brightest red, draw attention to strikes whose numbers killed exceeded 20 people.

The map is interactive. Clicking a point will provide you with the number of civilian deaths reported, as well as how number of children killed as a result of these attacks.

Data & Methodology

This map was created with free, and publicly available data and tools. Dronestream provides “Real-time and historical data about every reported United States drone strike”. The information is available as a .json API.

I used the Raw JSON Feed dronesteam provided and converted the .json file a .csv using konklone’s JSON to CSV coverter.

After that, it was as easy as using a TileMill’s tutorials to plot the points a map.

Acquiring the tiles, of Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia wasn’t relatively easy. I used a shapefile of roads provided free by Diva GIS.


If you have questions or comments about this map, please feel free to contact me via email at hey.bernard [at] gmail [dot] com.