from Africa in Transition

Mapping Security in Nigeria

June 30, 2011

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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[ushahidi width=560][/ushahidi]

Above is an example of an individual incident report. Visit the Nigeria Security Tracker here.

In an effort to better understand the security situation in Nigeria, we’ve decided to launch an informal crisis map to catalog, code, and visually represent the frequency, magnitude, and location of violent incidents. Using Ushahidi’s Crowdmap, we have begun recording those violent incidents reported in the Nigerian and international press that appear to be motivated by political, economic, or social grievances.

The present version of our Nigeria Security Tracker begins with the bombings that took place in the North on the day of Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration. Since May 29, we have recorded twenty-two violent incidents, concentrated mainly in the Northeast and in the Middle Belt. We plan to continue updating the map as events happen.

Here’s how it works:

On the map, you will see red circles, some with numbers in them. These represent incidents that have been plotted and the rough location of where they took place. If you zoom in, you will see more precise locations. Clicking on a red circle will cause a link to pop out that will take you to the actual incident report, which includes a short description, links to media reports, and categories we have assigned.

On the main page, you can also use the category filter to the right of the map to filter based on type, magnitude, and target of the incident.

Below the map is a timeline that shows the number of reported incidents per day, which can be automated by clicking play. (Because we started on May 29, you will not see any incidents prior to that day.) Below the timeline is a chronological record of incidents, which you can click on to get more details. You can access this at the top of the screen on the “Reports” tab as well.

You can also sign up for an RSS feed through the “Get Alerts” tab, which will update whenever we add a new incident.

This is still a work in progress. We will be updating it weekly, adding new features, more functionality, and, of course, more data. We would also appreciate any thoughts to its usefulness and/or suggestions that you have to make this better.

Visit the Nigeria Security Tracker here.

On another note, summer Fridays begin this week, so I will not be blogging on Fridays until September.

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Sub-Saharan Africa