The Global Arms Trade, Visualised

If you've ever wondered how the arms trade — both civilian and military — pans out around the globe, be puzzled no longer. Google has just created a wonderful little visualisation, which shows all the (known) arms trade between the globe's countries over the past 20 years.

The fully interactive world map lets you spin the globe to dig around and see how varying countries stack up. What's particularly interesting is the way that Google's data mining has allowed it to break down imports and exports by civilian and defence spending, as well as taking into account ammunition.

Personally, I was a little shocked to see that Spain exports $US100 million of ammunition annually, and that Italy exports $US200 million of civilian weapons in the same period. Still, that's small fry compared to the US, which imports $US1 billion of small arms and ammunition every year. Let us know if you spot anything interesting. [Google]

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