The committee consisting of Cassy Dorff (Vanderbilt University), Anita Gohdes (Hertie School of Governance) and Nils W Metternich (University College London) has awarded the eighth JPR Best Visualization Award to Therese Anders (Hertie School Data Science Lab / SCRIPTS). The prize-winning publication is a research article titled 'Territorial Control in Civil Wars: Theory and Measurement using machine learning' and was published as part of the Special Issue on Innovations in Concepts and Measurement for the Study of Peace and Conflict (Journal of Peace Research 57(6): 701–714). The article establishes a measure for territorial control of armed actors, a central concept to the study of civil wars. Assuming that territorial control can be conceptualized as an unobserved latent variable, the article implements a Hidden Markov Model to estimate territorial control at a 0.25 decimal degree minimum diameter hexagon grid cell resolution. Clear and self-explanatory visualizations are effectively used to illustrate the conceptual approach of the study, explain the theoretical framework employed, provide spatio-temporal insights to the territorial control estimates, and plot the outcome of a validation study. The committee found that this use of excellent visualizations, throughout the article, demonstrates our discipline's state of the art and therefore Therese Anders is a truly deserving winner of this year's JPR Best Visualization Award.
The award is USD 500.