New funding allows for preservation and improvement of world’s most cited, most comprehensive open-source terrorism database
February 25, 2019
The German Federal Foreign Office (FFO) has awarded START more than $770,000 to support the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), which along with existing funding from other agencies, will allow the GTD team to collect and code 2018-2019 data, develop a new API (application programming interface), and accelerate data collection and delivery. This support will sustain GTD data collection on terrorist attacks that take place through September 2019, preserving and improving the world’s most comprehensive, open-source terrorism database.
In the past, START has updated the GTD annually, but will now develop the capacity for quarterly data delivery to funders, and direct access to the data through an API.
The GTD includes information on more than 180,000 terrorist attacks that have occurred worldwide since 1970. It provides a more complete understanding of the dynamics, causes, and consequences of terrorism around the world by allowing users to analyze patterns including attack frequency, geo-spatial distribution, casualties including deaths as well as injured persons and hostages, the emergence and prevalence of particular tactics and targeting strategies, and the evolution of perpetrators of terrorist attacks.
The GTD’s accessible, transparent, well-documented, structured and unstructured data make it a critical resource for governments and scholars alike. It is used by thousands of analysts around the world, including government-based intelligence analysts seeking to inform policy and promote national security; academic scholars and students seeking to develop better theories and methods for understanding terrorism; data journalists seeking to better inform the public about a frequently misunderstood topic; and non-governmental/inter-governmental organizations that benefit from high-quality data for both operational and analytical purposes.
Since initially being made public in 2007, monthly downloads of the GTD have risen dramatically as the dataset continued to improve, resulting in an average of more than 1,000 downloads per month in 2018, and over 63,600 total downloads through 2018.