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Middle East Conflict Map


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The New York Times has two delicious graphic maps that display the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. The first displays the many different conflicts across the area; the second focuses on the conflict between the United States and Iran. Very interesting maps.

By way of information aesthetics who has a number of links to other graphics relating to the Middle East.


3 Responses to “Middle East Conflict Map”

  1. Anonymous Brian Timoney 

    Having stared at the NY Times mideast graphic on Sunday for 10 minutes, I was both captivated by the attempt to render the complex inter-relations in the form of a map/info graphic and utterly appalled at the mixing of objective and subjective elements in the cartographic representations.

    In particular, representing ethnic groups as proportional symbols relative to their population was straightforward, and using the thickness of the symbol's border to indicate gov't representation was interesting.

    However, the bi-modal line representations of relations between countries are a cognitive disaster. Not only are the distinctions between "major conflicts" and "secondary conflicts" unclear, but the variety in qualitative classification as to what constitutes a "major conflict" raises all sorts of doubts: e.g. at what point does the "deep suspicion and hostility" between Israel and Saudi Arabia morph into something like "Sworn Enemies" and "Deep Hatred"???

    In short, there is much to discuss here, and not all of it laudatory. Choosing the visual impact of the cartographic use of line and shape to represent fuzzy assessments of political relations may in the end result in not a clarifying graphic as intended but rather another unhelpful distortion of the complexities in the region.


    Brian

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