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Carter Center Makes Dynamic Syria Conflict Map Available to Public

March 9, 2016
Contact: Soyia Ellison 

ATLANTA — The Carter Center has launched a new web tool that shows in near real time which groups control what areas of Syria.

The dynamic dashboard, which was created with the help of Palantir Technologies and is available at, analyzes social media to trace changes in territorial control since Jan. 1, 2015. It shows the ebb and flow of power among the four main parties battling in Syria: the government, the opposition, the Kurds and their allies, and ISIS.

"With Syrian peace talks set to resume next week, it's important for the public to have as much information as possible about what is happening on the ground," said Hrair Balian, director of the Center's Conflict Resolution Program. "Because it's based on publicly available information, this dashboard has no military value. Its value is in contributing to public awareness about a conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people many of them civilians."

The Carter Center has been using social media to track events in Syria since 2012. It shares its findings with the United Nations and humanitarian groups to help inform their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict and to get much-needed aid to civilians. Periodic written reports have been posted here.

"The Syrian conflict is the first to take place in a country with heavy social media users," said Chris McNaboe, manager of the Center's Syria Mapping Project. "With a relative absence of any free press, people naturally turned to social media to share information about events around them. The videos they uploaded of protests, the formation of armed groups, bombings, and clashes were not just meant for their families and friends, but for the world."

The Carter Center pioneered new methods of recording and analyzing data in an attempt to make sense of this deluge of information. It has documented more than 70,000 conflict events, which, taken together, help illuminate trends and contextualize events.

Recently, the Center expanded its collaboration with humanitarian organizations, training teams of analysts to use the ever-growing social media database, and working with local partners at Georgia Tech to build new tools to monitor and predict the movements of vulnerable internally displaced civilians. 


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care.  The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

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