Gao, Mali: Photography by C4ADS
Internal Research and Innovation
C4ADS analysts are encouraged to develop new and innovative project concepts and analytical methodologies to tackle complex challenges. We seek to experiment with a range of analytical programs including various forms of GIS, social media, and statistical tools.
In one such example of this work, we built a geospatial model to Predictively Map Sahel Terrorist Basing. Our analysis was based by using fieldwork and local interviews to understand the logistics of AQIM and other violent extremist groups. We then used that understanding to identify key indicators that restrict or guide terrorist movement in the Sahelian desert, including but not limited to access to water, distance from population centers, availability of roads, terrain ruggedness, and known operating areas for French and MINUSMA forces. By then using GIS to layer these different constraints, we created a pilot model, represented in the map above, that narrowed 1.2 million miles of desert by over 90 percent with a high degree of accuracy.
Key applications for this model could include preemptively identifying at-risk local communities to prioritize for security and development.