Sophie Dyer is a researcher and designer.

She is a freelancer (medieval mercenary), a past contributor to Airwars and a co-producer of the experimental documentary unit, Concrete Flux.

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Airwars: Public Archive

Project lead on the redesign of Airwar's public archive of civilian casualty allegations and related military claims.
(January 2018 – December 2018)
Airwars
London
#archive #documentary #open-source

Project lead for the redesign of Airwars’ public archive of civilian casualty allegations and related military claims. The exercise ran over 12 months and involved the entire Airwars team as we moved from unstructured research documents to a structured and searchable database. The new site put online hundreds of unpublished geolocations, images and videos from local sources. Additionally, it enabled live data visualisations, transforming not just how Airwars communicates its findings but how the organisation recognises patterns and anomalies in its own real time data.

Despite creating a highly structured database in the backend, the frontend focus remains the qualitative narration of events and the naming of victims. For the first time local allegations of civilian harm are displayed alongside related belligerent strike and casualty reports. In the new taxonomy, region and (alleged) belligerent become the two highest classifications after conflict, while smallest units such as the minimum/maximum reported fatalities, incident date, coordinates and geographic accuracy are measurable. To ensure the archive works with not against real-world “fuzzy” data, most fields are built to handle multiple formats or degrees of ambiguity.

The work was realised through a close and sustained collaboration with Rectangle, an external design and web development studio.