Mapping the Global Arms Trade

MADThe global trade in small arms is booming. This is particularly the case in the developing world. The developing world continues to be the primary focus of arms sales, comprising almost 84% of the dollar value of arms transfer agreements worldwide. Some developing countries, such as Brazil, have also become major exporters of arms, even though the U.S., Europe, and Russia are still (by far) the leading arms peddlers of the world. All this is made strikingly apparent in the Mapping Arms Data (MAD) visualization designed by the Rio de Janeiro-based Igarapé Institute in conjunction with PRIO and Google Ideas. MAD, originally released in 2012 and relaunched this year, is currently in the running for a data visualization competition (it got my vote). The map was also featured in a BBC report that includes a brief interview with one of MAD’s designers.

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