The International Peace Information Service (IPIS) provides another interesting approach to crisis mapping:
Mapping interests in conflict areas: Katanga reports on the presence of (ex-) combatants in the Congolese province of Katanga, in other words, the armed men who participated in the consecutive Congo wars. It tries to answer the questions who they are, where they are quartered, why they are quartered there and what should be done to prevent them from causing security problems. It relates to the situation in March-April-May 2007 and focuses on two conflicting parties: the “Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo” (FARDC) and the Mayi-Mayi militias.
- You can change the level of detail on the maps by zooming in or out. The maps are available at three different scales: 1:7,500,000 (initial view), 1:3,000,000 and 1:1,000,000. To zoom in or out, move the scroll slide (in the bottom left corner) up or down, or just move the mouse wheel up or down. For clarity reasons some map elements are hidden while viewing at a large scale but revealed after zooming in.
- You can easily navigate through the map by dragging it with the mouse pointer. After a double click, the clicked-on position is displayed in the centre of the map.
- The maps feature an advanced geographical search function that locates strings of characters.
- When clicking the ‘Overview’ button a useful overview map appears in an extra window at the top left corner of the screen .
- A legend is provided for each map.
- You can search thematically for data by clicking the ‘Lists’ button. The map will centre on the requested map element and automatically a table will appear with additional information on the map element.
- The same additional information on map elements can be retrieved by clicking on the item directly on the map itself (the arrow of your mouse cursor should change in a hand first).
- Can blogging about culture and non-political issues invite more credibility for bloggers? Cultural issues are not a threat to governments, this could be an entry point.