• We want to make the stories of refugees more comprehensible

What it does

  • It empowers journalists and people involved with the refugee crisis in storytelling.
  • We display terror data on a world map for the user to explore.
  • We provide additional information like statistics for the region, fitting New York Times articles and casualties.

How we built it

  • We downloaded public datasets that contained a list terror attacks, riots, explosions and violence in general. We also downloaded a dataset that describes refugee movement throughout the last few years.
  • We used Python and Jupyter Notebooks to pre-process the data and bring it into a normalized format. Every 'event' (riot, explosion, ...) now looks like so:
  "location": ["Greece","Attica","Athens","Central Athens","Athens-Central Athens"],
  "lng": 23.7585,
  "description": "On 12 May, just after midnight, groups of hooded youths [allegedly anarchists] lobbed Molotov cocktails at a police detachment in Exarchia near the Ministry of Culture and later at a platoon of riot policemen guarding the offices of ruling party SYRIZA in central Athens. Three cars and a motorcycle were damaged. Police responded with tear gas. Seven people were detained but released later. [size=no report]"
  • We then built a web interface using d3.js, JavaScript and React to display an interactive, explorable dashboard.

Challenges we ran into

  • data normalization
  • finding a free to use API for additional information like social media or newspaper

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • mastering d3.js
  • realizing our own interpretation of the challenge

What we learned

  • Data normalization is more difficult and time-consuming than it looks (especially when it comes to country names, country codes and geo data)
  • Visualizations with d3.js are hard. Really hard.
  • Surprisingly, the New York Times have a free API to search all past articles.

What's next for Refugee Movement: Cause and Effect

  • Present our tool to refugee workers and journalists and find out what else they wish for.
  • Collaborate with them to create an interactive experience with a specific story.
  • Ideally publish it.
  • Sleeping! Good night!
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