Political Instability Task Force Worldwide Atrocities Dataset
For the past few years we have been collecting the data set described below for the U.S. government-sponsored Political Instability Task Force. The current version covers January 1995 to December 2011 and includes about 7,000 events. These data were coded using conventional human coding rather than automated methods, although we do employ a couple of customized filter programs to reduce the number of stories we need to look through. Data are a zipped MS-Excel file; compressed file size is about 3 Mb; it decompresses to about 10 Mb.
The following narrative describing the data is included at the request of the sponsor:
“The Political Instability Task Force (PITF) Worldwide Atrocities Dataset is a global dataset that describes, in quantitative terms, the deliberate killing of non-combatant civilians in the context of a wider political conflict. This data collection project, which is still ongoing, is intended to advance efforts to understand and anticipate atrocities, i.e., the deliberate use of lethal violence against non-combatant civilians by actors engaged in a wider political or military conflict. The practical objective of this project is to create a dataset representing a reasonably systematic sample of atrocities occurring worldwide in recent decades in order to: (1) enable the development of statistical models that might be used to identify countries vulnerable to the occurrence of atrocities or, if atrocities are already occurring, to an escalation in their rate or intensity; and (2) create a descriptive record that might be used by researchers with an interest in particular countries or conflicts. The effective date of data in this dataset is 1 January 1995 to the present date. Data are updated monthly.
“This data-collection is sponsored by the Political Instability Task Force
(PITF). The PITF is funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. The
data set is the responsibility of the authors’ alone and does not
represent the views of the US Government.”
Google Earth display of data
The .kml file provided below will create a Google Earth display of the most of the data for the period January 1995 to July 2007. The data itself is stored on a server at the University of Kansas and you will need to be connected to the internet to use this; you will also need the Google Earth software installed on your machine.
Note: There are still a few bugs in the program used to create this file; we're working on these and expect to have a new version containing all of the records in the near future.
Download Google Earth
.kml file for displaying data set (.kml)
Download perl program and ancillary
files for converting a tab-delimited version of data set into .kml records (.zip)
LAST UPDATED: 11 August 2011