Friday, February 15, 2008

Online map for real-time global terrorism

Take a trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York this month and you will get to see a rather frightening online map pinpointing possible terrorist acts in real time, presented as part of the museum’s ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’ exhibition which opens on 19 February.

The frighteningly patriotic site, called Global Incident Map, is described as “a display of the wedding of technology and human behaviour”. It's presented alongside other such “software mash-ups" combining mapping and presentation of data including terrorist acts, open pubs, local crimes and restrooms.

Designer doesn't think it's art.

"It seems relevant, even though I can't look at my website and think of it as art," Global Incident Map creator Morgan Clements told AFP news. "Anyone who goes to the website is usually shocked by what's going on in the world at any given moment."

Clements spends all his time sifting news from around the world and marking anything he considers sinister on his maps.

"We could use this to map anything," Clements said of the program. "Bird flu outbreaks, gang violence, and disease outbreaks. You could map UFO sightings if you want to."

Clement’s site typically gets 40,000 to 50,000 visits daily. We’ll let you decide if it’s art or simply the strange meanderings of a single, misguided patriot/crackpot.

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