Sunday, March 25, 2007

Longer term view of Iraqi Oil Production

Here's a longer term (10 year view) of Iraqi Oil Production in a single chart (Source is Oil Market Report, provided by the International Energy Agency). With the more complete time range view, it becomes easier to put the most recent production data as reported in the Iraq Weekly Status Report into broader perspective.

Hat tip for this link to Scott Johnson.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Michael O'Hanlon Year over Year Iraq Update

Here's a recent Michael O'Hanlon New York Times article which includes year over year table showing some 17 trend metrics from Feb 2004, year by year through Feb 2007.

The State of Iraq: An Update:

We plan to graph some of the more interesting of these trends in a future post to see what patterns we can discover that may be hiding in the data once we have transformed the posted table into a more readily reusable format for further investigation and discussion.

The Brookings Iraq Index Archive

Here's the link for the Brookings Iraq Index Archive: Iraq Index Archive that lets you access their entire history of this important report going back to Nov 17th, 2003.

Latest Iraq Trends from the Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution continues its weekly Iraq Trend reporting. Here are some interesting charts gleaned from their March 22nd edition. Note the link to the Brookings Latest Iraq Trends Report will always take you to their most recent version.

Security Stations Established. This is a new chart reflecting changes underway as a result of the "surge" showing the number of security stations (cumulative) that have been established in Baghdad. The new goal is to reach 70 stations (original goal of 30).

Patrols Per Week. This new chart shows patrols carried per week and shows an impressive jump up in recent weeks.

IED Fatalities & Percentage. This dual axis chart shows both the number of IED fatalities (red bars, left scale) and the percentage of all fatalities that are attributable to IEDs (blue line, right scale).

Targetted Attacks. This chart shows average weekly attack based on who the attacks target - Coalition forces, Iraqi forces, or others.

Oil Production: Iraq Weekly Status Report - March 21, 2007

Here's the latest Iraq Oil production chart from the Iraq Weekly Status Report, March 21, 2007
showing production at or close to the Oil Ministry Goal for 2007 and holding quite steady .for the past 7 weeks after a slowdown period at the beginning of January.

To completely understand the meaning of current production and this year's goal, it would be helpful if the full range of production data since the beginning of the war were also available in addition to the zoomed in most recent view that is presented.

With that in mind, I assembled a mini time series history (each about 3 months apart) of this chart as it appears in weekly reports stretching back to 2005. Note that the next to the last chart overlaps the charts before and after to more clearly show the January 2007 dip.

Ideally, all this data would be on a single chart and much more readily digestible.

Iraq Reconstruction Management Office: Employment Chart

Here's latest employment chart from the US State Department's Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO) Report dated March 20th, 2007.

It shows Iraqi employment in US Govt. projects and what appears to be a rapidly declining trend. It would interesting to determine whether the change in this factor was having an impact on other key success factors in Iraq.

If you would like to be on an email distribution list for the full weekly IRMO report which also contains detailed updates about Electricity, Oil, Water, and Sanitation project. you can send your request to:
jddurso AT earthlink DOT net

More BBC trend charts for Iraq

BBC NEWS | In Depth | Iraq violence, in figures

The BBC link above is the source for these two easy to read charts -- the first showing the varying levels of US troop strength and the second showing the US Military Death Toll.

Good points of the BBC presentation:

1) Full range of Data. Both charts go back to the beginning of the conflict in 2003 and are up to date as of Feb 2007.

2) Combining Data from Multiple Sources.
The BBC has combined data sources obtaining the troop strength information from the Brookings Institution and fatality figures from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. The charts are presented on the page so the single Time Axis can be used for both for more ready comparison.

3) Detailed Interactive Event Description Integrated with the Trend Data.

The BBC original interactive chart has the option to click on the event arrows to get a brief snapshot of some of the important events and see how these fit into the overall picture and relate to the underlying trends.

More Timelines in Motion

BBC NEWS | In Depth | Baghdad: Mapping the violence

This interactive graphic from the BBC will repay your careful interactive examination.

Some things to try.

1) Drag the timeline slider slowly to see how the level of violence has changed month to month.

2) Also click on Ethnic Areas and then click back and forth between Current and Pre-2006 to see the dramatic changes in ethnic mix that have taken place already and to understand where the predominance of violence is taking place.

It will be interesting to compare the March 2007 view of violence when it is ready to the pictures of violence in December 2006, January 2007 and February 2007 to better gauge the degree to which the "surge" may be having a positive effect.

This would be even better if, like Gapminder, there were a PLAY button and some Speed control. Next Month and Previous Month buttons would also be handy as it is a little tricky dragging the timeline control exactly one month forward or back or clicking on exactly a given hash mark along the timeline of months.

Hat tip to: Data Mining: Text Mining, Visualization and Social Media

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And speaking of gapminder

Thanks to a hat tip from Pat McConnell, I've learned that the latest news is it that GOOGLE has acquired gapminder's Trendalyzer software. Here's the scoop from the the gapminder home page.

Make sense of the world by having fun with statistics

Gapminder and Google share an enthusiasm for technology that makes data easily accessible and understandable to the world. Gapminder’s Trendalyzer software unveils the beauty of statistics by converting boring numbers into enjoyable interactive animations. We believe that Google’s acquisition of Trendalyzer will speed up the achievement of this noble goal. Trendalyzer’s developers have left Gapminder to join Google in Mountain View, where Google intends to improve and scale up Trendalyzer, and make it freely available to those who seek access to statistics.

The Stockholm-based Gapminder Foundation will continue to spearhead the use of new technology for data animations. The goal is to promote a fact-based worldview by bringing statistical story-telling to new levels. In collaboration with producers of accurate statistics that are eager to give the public free access to databases, Gapminder hopes to recruit and inspire many users of public statistics.

If you haven't seen Trendalyzer in action, you are in for a treat. You can check it out for yourself with this powerful example.

Trendalyzer in simple terms is a timeline in motion machine which has all sorts of potential to help us discover previously unseen patterns. Google's stated intentions to continue to advance on this already powerful design is an exciting development for anyone interested in understanding the behavior of important factors and how they change over time.

timelines in motion

A nice example of timelines in motion accompanied by an audio track from Brad Delong.

The combination of a timeline change in motion and a guided audio track is powerful.

To make this even better, I would have liked it to zip along at a faster pace and it would be great to have a higher resolution graphic quality so that the X and Y axes could be more readily examined and understood.

You won't be surprised to hear me saying that making the data available in a readily re-usable format would sweeten things even further.

Providing a mechanism similar to gapminder to be able to watch this change over time with the viewer in control of the speed would be even better.

What do you think?