Mapping Global Trafficking

Project Name: Mapping Global Trafficking
Grantee: Daria Vaisman
Discipline: Criminal Justice
Funding Cycle: 2014-2015
Project Status: In progress

About the Project

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 9.25.22 PMGlobal trafficking has expanded dramatically over the past decade. Revenues from these illicit networks are estimated to generate over $2.1 trillion annually, yet less than one percent of global illicit financial flows are thought to be seized or reported. Data limitations pose a serious challenge to research and analysis of trafficking patterns. Moreover, despite the spatial context in which trafficking occurs, current research has been slow to capitalize on recent advances in spatial and visual analysis. Using an extensive—yet unutilized—global United Nations database of drug seizures from 2000 to 2014, this project will create an open-source data repository and a collaborative web- based open-source mapping tool that will allow users to introduce spatial and visual analysis into their research to identify short- and long-term trafficking trends on the local, national, or global level. By making these tools available to the public, the project aims at contributing to the quality of research and reporting on trafficking and transnational crime. More broadly, the project also aims at contributing to current geospatial scholarship by providing another resource for situating our current period of ‘globalization’ within a broader historical context.