Witness the Destruction

One of the greatest things about all this aerial/satellite photography we have around is the historical analysis possibilities. The New York Times has used aerial photography to document the destruction going on in Beirut. The area of interest is the area around the Hezbollah headquarters in Beirut. The leftmost tab shows that area as it looked on July 12th, 2006. The middle button shows the aftereffects of 19 days of bombing. The damaged areas are utterly clear.

No matter what your stance on the Israeli/Lebanese conflict ongoing, the destruction is simply terrible. I think we, as geographers and remote sensing specialists, need to bring more imagery like this to the public eye to show the products of armed conflict.

4 Comments to Witness the Destruction

  1. I’m an ex-bomb loader for the USAF. Desert shield/storm,northern watch, provide comfort. This needs greater circulation. If the average American could only understand what goes on during these conflicts. It saddens my heart to see their city where they live.

  2. The New York Times is guilty of using a very selective crop here. The suburb shown in this comparison is called Harat Hreik, which is a de facto Hezbollah zone. Before the war, the entire area was fenced off, and armed Hezbollah guards patrolled the area and ensured no outsiders got in. You were only allowed to live and stay there if you were part of Hezbollah.

    Outside of this suburb, there is remarkably little destruction. Unfortunately, the NY Times does not show this, due to its specific crop, but it’s important to keep this in mind.

    The destruction you’re seeing here is very localised and very specific. This is NOT carpet bombing.

  3. This is typical – get the public to “go crazy” about something to sell some papers/website ad-hits/etc. There is ALWAYS more than one side to anything, but “the news media” don’t present anything other than their one view, filtered by their current political bent. This holds true no matter whether pro-, anti- (or ambivalent about) war, pro-, anti- (or ambivalent about) illegal immigration, (the list goes on).

    I do agree with T. Smith that REGARDLESS of your political or editorial views – GIS professionals can offer a *huge* service to the world by opening up our eyes using the data that we already have.

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