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Published June 10, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) will publish a "Terror in Afghanistan" map created by Mr. Stephen Benzek, cartographer, U.S. Army Geospatial Center (AGC), in its annual "Map Book". The book is dedicated to acknowledging the important and innovative accomplishments of geographic information system (GIS) users around the world.

Benzek’s two-page map examines civilian casualties due to acts of terrorism in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2009. Its style was derived from newspaper and propaganda maps from the 1930s and early 1940s. The author was inspired to use GIS software to simulate these old styles in depicting a contemporary conflict after browsing old maps at the Library of Congress. The diverse terrain of Afghanistan is represented in a hand-drawn style by applying dots to contour lines that are easily created from digital elevation data.

"I decided to create the map on Afghanistan civilian casualties rather than Iraq because the military operation in Iraq was beginning to wind down while the operation in Afghanistan had just ramped up in 2010," said Benzek. "A future map might compare reported civilian terrorism casualties in both countries over to time see how they differ--particularly when compared to the tempo of ongoing military operations."

ESRI’s Map Book will be released on July 1, 2011.

Release no. 11-006