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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Visualizing Geopolitical Conflict

Finalist in Data Visualization


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to providing strategic insights and policy solutions to help decisionmakers chart a course toward a better world. The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab enhances CSIS's research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.

In 2017, CSIS's iDeas Lab produced interactive content that provided critical nonpartisan analysis to the threat posed by North Korea and other major issues shaping Asia and the world today. CSIS visualized three of the biggest challenges in the world of geopolitics - North Korea's nuclear threat, China's infrastructure expansion into Central Asia and Europe, and the continuing territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The objective of these products are to illustrate, educate, and inform policymakers, the private sector and the public in a nonpartisan manner.

Strategy and Execution

CSIS employed its trademark approach of building easy-to-use interactive maps and visualizations to deliver its complex scholarly research to a wider audience in 2017.

For CSIS's Beyond Parallel website, the iDeas Lab has built a cross-platform project that brings much needed transparency to North Korean issues. Beyond Parallel visualized the rapid expansion and destructive power of North Korea's nuclear program, together with CSIS's Missile Threat, as well as visually analyzing the past 25 years of diplomacy and provocations with the North Korean regime.

With our Reconnecting Asia website, CSIS built a detailed map illustrating Asia's growing infrastructure development, project by project. Powered by a custom database manned by CSIS researchers, this map is the first of its kind and represents the most comprehensive representation of the competing visions major powers have for plans shaping Asia.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) continues to be the world's one-stop shop for all legal and political issues in the Indo-Pacific region. In 2017, it continued its news breaking coverage of military base building in the South China Sea using never seen before satellite imagery and data visualization.


CSIS highlighted and explained these issues in a fresh and engaging way, capturing audiences around the globe. Taken together, these products received over 1 million views in 2017 and were featured in leading media outlets in the United States and Asia.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)


Entry Credits