Strauss Center News

Updates from the Strauss Center and our affiliated distinguished scholars and fellows


Findley on Estimating Control of Territory in Conflict Regions

Jul 25, 2016 |

Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar Michael Findley recently co-authored the article “A hybrid approach to modeling territorial control in violent armed conflicts” for the journal¬†Transactions in GIS. Dr. Findley and his co-authors discuss a new approach to estimating the control of territory in conflict regions.

According to the authors, “territorial control is central to the understanding of violent armed conflicts, yet reliable and valid meaures of this concept do not exist.” For this reason, they developed a geospatial approach that applies network analysis utilizing existing transportation infrastructure, as well as modeled routes, to estimate a more accurate measurement of territorial control. This is a key innovation that considers both on and off-road movements of real road data, as well as simulated travel models. Their new approach was used in Sub-Saharan Africa to estimate territorial control of armed groups. However, it can also be implemented in other regions by using data from the specific area of interest. Dr. Findley and co-authors also state that this methodology can be easily implemented with the existing functionality of common GIS software.

The complete article can be accessed here.

Michael Findley and co-author Daniel Strandow (former CCAPS pre-doc fellow) had previously studied this topic in their 2013 CCAPS Research Brief “Mapping Territorial Control in Violent Armed Conflict.” ¬†