A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

Shifting Terrorism Trends Across Time and Space

Shifting Terrorism Trends Across Time and Space


Project Details


This project assisted in the development of geo-referencing protocols for START's Global Terrorism Database. Improvements in geo-coding and procedures for terrorist incidents in the GTD was a direct result of this project. Distinct geographic patterns of terrorist activities exist at the international, national, and sub-national levels and these patterns shift over time and across space. The statistical documentation of such patterns (and shifts) is a major contribution of this project. Along with the substantive findings, the development of geo-spatial visualization tools for interaction and clustering of terrorist incidents is also another major contribution of this project. See http://www.spatialdatamining.org/software.htm#redcap for software downloads.


The project employed spatial analytical methods and tools, in particular, geo-coding and geo-referencing, to accurately assign locations to terrorist incidents for the GTD effort, and the subsequent enhancement of the US portion of the GTD. A variety of GIS-based query functions, analytical tools, and visualizations were used in the analysis and presentation of findings. The development of a spatio-temporal clustering tool for interaction data analysis and visualization was completed and deployed. For the improvements in the collection of US-based terrorist incidents, archival work was necessary and consisted of searches through newspapers, government documents, and other ancillary sources.


Project Period: 
June 2005


Research Area: 
Terrorism and Society