Last night I finished work on an interactive visualization of the datasets I collected from COW, containing all data on conflicts that had occurred globally in the past two centuries. The final piece has become an experiment on what amount of information can be put into one graph while remaining informative. The visualization works on two levels, an overview that allows the spotting of trends, and an in-depth look into a particular time frame.
One navigates through the set along a time line that can be controlled by mouse and keyboard.
Though it may succeed in displaying a lot of data, I’m not really satisfied with the overall look of the outcome. It feels like I cramped in too much information, losing control over its shape. Earlier, more abstract sketches displaying just a fraction of the data were much more pretty.
The “global” overview featured in the background/timeline is a visualization of the relative army sizes per country, divided by its population. Relative large armies generally signify a special situation.