Final Project: Prototype

After a week at looking at maps made with D3.js and watching Lynda videos on D3 and HTML, my prototype for my final project is done entirely in P5.js. I realized my inexperience with HTML and CSS meant getting past the learning curve would take longer than a week. But, I think I will be able to test the functionalities of my final product with my first prototype.

I’d like to be able to use an actual map in order to use coordinates, and the entire sketch is missing a lot of information that I’ve been organizing separately, from various sources. I have a long list of improvements, and questions about integrating DOM elements, P5.js and D3.js.

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Mousing over cities reveals text created with p5.dom.js, but this messes with my animation

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A Visualization of the Drone Strike Target Process

Final Project Proposal: A Visualization of the Drone Strike Target Process

Either a map or globe will be displayed, with a line or crosshair that follows the flow of information from intelligence gathering in countries where the U.S. wages covert war, to facilities in the U.S. used for surveillance, to decision making in Washington that lead to drone strikes. Starting the interaction will put a timeline in play (where a year might be 30 seconds or a minute, for instance), and you will be able to move across to globe to these two distant regions.

After initially doing a project on drone strike deaths, I became less interested in the idea of quantifying deaths. As long as history has existed, governments and people have fought wars, and death from warfare is expected. It was hard for me to put deaths from drones in context because I think there could be a valid argument that using drones has resulted in less casualties than would have resulted from traditional warfare. But, drone strikes in countries where we haven’t declared war mean these strikes are effectively assassinations. Even assuming complete cooperation with host countries and congressional approval (many would argue congress has exercised minimal oversight) there are still major ethical and legal problems related to the process of targeted killing.

After my first project I looked at other work by Josh Begley, the data artist that most inspired my exploration into the topic of drone strikes and creator of Dronestream and Metadata+. He also contributed to The Intercept’s The Drone Papers and contributes to Geographical Imaginations, a blog on law, space, and security.

Metadata+ was recently pulled from the Apple Store
Metadata+ was recently pulled from the Apple Store

One post back in April included an infographic of the Kill Chain by a journalist, Alissa Scheller. It showed surveillance, intelligence work, and drone piloting carried out in the U.S. alongside drone activity and intelligence gathering that happens in the Middle East.

The Kill Chain, Alissa Scheller

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Amplify Face

My sketch for this week!

This week we did the sound and video unit and learned about how capturing video and making pictures and tracking faces–all of which would have been helpful a few weeks ago, when I wrote my PhotoCube sketch. I thought this week would be a good time to build on that project to make something better. I simplified it but also added several elements. Also it turns out WEBGL doesn’t play nicely with 2D so I just scrapped the idea of a spinning cube for now.

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Spinning face after abandoning the cube

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