Digital Visualization Project: a Visual Timeline on the Use of Enhanced Interrogation During the War on Terror (2001-2004)

For my Digital Visualization project, I decided to create a TimelineJS timeline of the Use of Enhanced Interrogation Methods during the War on Terror from 2001-2004. For my Digital Visualization project, I decided to create a TimelineJS timeline of the Use of Enhanced Interrogation Methods during the War on Terror from 2001-2004. In addition, the data I’ve complied includes a Word Cloud vie Wordle derived from ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen “High Value Detainees” in CIA Custody (depicted below).

The purpose of the timeline is to both portray how quickly torture became legalized and to pinpoint significant moments between the years of 2001-2004. TimelineJS allows for an interactive timeline which serves two purposes; first, it allows for for the user to interactively engage with the basic torture timeline with the intention of further animating difficult to comprehend topics. Second, the timeline allows for the user to be better acquainted at an introductory level with my topic and background information related to my research. The intention of my timeline would be in creating a “hook” for my proposed research. I wanted to attach videos as a way of incorporating various modalities into my presentation while also inserting parts of my proposed argument about the legalization of torture. I kept the text and overall format minimalistic with the intention of provoking the user with my content rather than my layout. At the same time, I find format changes can distract a user if they are too “busy” or overly stylistic at the price of easy readability and user-friendliness.

Courtesy of Wordle and based on the “ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen “High Value Detainees” in CIA Custody”, February 2007

For my data visualization, I decided to utilize a Wordle to create a word visualization that displays frequent terms expressed in the ICRC Report. What is compelling about the Wordle is the frequency of words related to torture; the viewer can understand the connotation of the report without reading its entirety. The report typifies the descriptions of many CIA and U.S. Military detainment facilities in which detainees were subjected to torture. While the visualization itself does not offer compelling data that will lend itself to my research, the representation is an excellent way to familiarize a layperson with my topic.  I intend to use both the timeline and the word cloud in my presentation of my research topic following its completion. I believe both tools are excellent in both acclimating laypersons on my research topic and give a window into the research process itself.

* If the hyperlink for the TimelineJS is not functioning, please attempt to view my timeline utilizing the following URL:
(https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline3/latest/embed/index.html?source=1R8KtLJuTrQYvHc1MFIC9Vkf5_73uQzqNQPNltG10XaY&font=Default&lang=en&initial_zoom=2&height=650)

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