I recently created the graphics for an upcoming FRONTLINE episode, Inside Assad’s Syria. It premieres next Tuesday at 10PM, and will be free to watch online after.
All eyes are on Syria as Russia’s military campaign intensifies, and as tens of thousands of refugees continue to flee the war-torn country for Europe.
What is life like for those who are left behind?
I designed a bunch of maps back in October for FRONTLINE: The Rise of ISIS. It’s free to watch online at the link. It got great reviews and I think is very much worth seeing, but a word of warning: this film contains some very graphic footage.
Mapping Arabic-speaking parts of the world turned out to be unexpectedly challenging: there are multiple ways to transliterate pretty much every place name, and good luck guessing which one your geolocation service has selected.
But there are perks to focusing on a region with such a long history. It was pretty cool finding ancient hand-drawn maps of Baghdad alongside OSM street data and satellite imagery.
I learned a ton about QGIS working on this, too. I’d never done much with raster map data before, so this was basically Baby’s First Hillshade. In hindsight, as much as I like the final look there were definitely things I should have built differently — I ended up with a super-wonky workflow for adding new city points and one map in particular with insanely long render times.
Let’s hope the upcoming GEOlayers plugin for After Effects smooths out a lot of that process.
One of the documentaries I worked on before I started at DocGroup is going to be on PBS American Masters this coming Wednesday. I did a lot of image restoration work and made the pictures move around.
This film was more than a decade in the making, and I’m really excited to see the results!