Harshath.com

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Visualizing the History of Israel-Palestine's Conflict

November 2014

Conflicts in the middle east has been an ongoing phenomenon, and the recent Israeli-Hamas conflict has recaptured public interest in the subject. The roots of the conflict are complex, lie in the pre-world war 1 era. It started and grew as a struggle between two nationalist movements that developed in opposition to each other. Both nationalisms were shaped and influenced by varying number of events over the course of about 50 years, with these events sometimes not having anything to do directly with that region.

The network of causalities between these events is also complex, especially in turbulent times when multiple chains of events are afoot simultaneously. Meanwhile, news coverage of the conflict in the present era focus solely on the present with little reference to the distant past. The result of this is that most people only have a superficial understanding of this conflict as a tussle between two religious or ethnic groups.

Motivation and Goal

Most material on this subject either exists as comprehensive and dense history texts that are inaccessible to the average person, or as documentaries which only cover a small subject of the events involved. The lack of adequate resources motivated me to design one to occupy this space.

My goal is that this interactive artifact will make the history of this conflict more accessible to the average person. It will hopefully bring a better understanding of the history behind this conflict and thus help people empathize with the people who are affected by this.

Event Chains and Causes

This artifiact presents the history as a collection of events which are annotated with a variety of metadata. This lets us present events as part of "event chains". (An event chain defines a sequence of events that would be traditionally presented together in a history text.) We also are able to show how an event affected another event that is not part of the same event chain.

Other features

The reader can also locate specific events by using search terms, or filter based on certain types of events, or events with a certain person involved. You can explore more on the live version of this.

Live Version

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