Charting Syria's civil war

Can a huge database of news stories help peer through the fog of war? Political scientists hope that it can – and maybe even predict a conflict's course.

To explore the potential of the new Global Data on Events, Location and Tone dataset, New Scientist crunched the numbers on violent events in Syria since the start of 2011. As Western leaders ponder intervention, the resulting view suggests that the violence has subsided in recent months, from a peak in the third quarter of 2012.

Use the controls at the top right of the graphic to view maps for different periods, click on the event markers, and explore the daily count of events in the chart below.

Number of events:

Hex1 1 to 49
Hex2 50 to 999
Hex3 1000 to 4999
Hex4 5000 or more