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SRHRL Past Projects: Revealing Trends in Cross-Border Conflict Using Satellite Imagery

Project Description | Documents | Case Studies

Project Description

Earth-observation satellite imagery is both a potential resource for understanding border conflicts and a possible conflict prevention tool. Through a grant from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to analyze cross-border conflicts using satellite imagery, this project endeavored to determine which elements of border conflict can be verified through remote sensing. It involved the aggregation of large amounts of original information, including satellite imagery, media reporting, and eyewitness accounts to undertake a retrospective geospatial analysis of cross-border conflicts, with the goal of identifying trends that could contribute to the detection, management, and peaceful de-escalation of similar incidents in the future. Its goal was to increase the conflict prevention capacity of organizations by providing tools that can be applied to detect, identify, and mitigate future conflicts.

Documents resulting from the Geospatial Technologies Project's study of border conflict

By making the project’s results and data open-source and freely available, the project hopes to contribute to the teaching, training, and education of policymakers, practitioners, and students regarding factors leading to development of border conflicts, and contribute to our understanding of how these conflicts may be prevented, managed, or resolved. The documents below detail the results of AAAS's research on the phenomenon of cross-border conflict, and are intended for public distribution. They are divided as follows:

Hostile Territory: Lessons Learned from Satellite Imagery of Recent Cross-border conflicts
This document summarizes the results of the project’s analysis of seven 21st-century border conflicts

Monitoring Border Conflicts with Satellite Imagery: A Handbook for Practitioners
This is a handbook intended to educate a lay audience regarding the possibilities provided by geospatial technology for understanding border conflict.

Introduction to Remote Sensing of Cross-Border Conflicts: A Guide for Analysts
This is a technical document identifying best practices in the interpretation of high-resolution satellite imagery in the context of border conflicts.

Border Conflict Case Studies

In addition to the documents listed above, the detailed results of each of AAAS's analysis of the seven border conflicts summarized in "Hostile Territory" are available in the following case study documents:

Project Staff

Susan Wolfinbarger
Former Director
Geospatial Technologies Project

Jonathan Drake
Senior Program Associate
Geospatial Technologies Project

Eric Ashcroft
Former Senior Program Associate
Geospatial Technologies Project

This work was funded by the United States Institute of Peace through grant number USIP-043-12F for $119,474 over a period of 18 months.