Fascinating figures make for intriguing infographics

From an outside perspective the international arms trade is mostly shrouded in mystery. No longer: have a look at this startling content and be amazed at the dynamic use to which dry ‘think tank’ data can be put.

It has, says Robert Muggah, research director at the Igarapé Institute in Brazil and father of this project, already influenced the debate about the international arms trade.

To my mind, as someone working and consulting in the production and delivery of digital collateral, this initiative demonstrates precisely what good content is all about.

It presents information in such a way that makes it not only relevant to its chosen constituency but also provides critical value in terms of adding to the global debate.

Irrespective of where you stand on the international arms business – manufacturer, importer, exporter, end-user or dismayed bystander – it is easy to be confused by the sheer scale of it. Too many numbers, issued by too many governments and manufacturing or trading companies have muddied the issues and prevented close scrutiny.

This ingenious work has made what has previously been cloudy, much more transparent.

Kudos to Google Ideas, a key driver behind the technology that developed MAD (Mapping Arms Data).