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The Global Arms Trade, Visualized

Illustration for article titled The Global Arms Trade, Visualized

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 visualization, 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 defense spending, as well as taking into account ammunition.

Personally, I was a little shocked to see that Spain exports $100 million of ammunition annually, and that Italy exports $200 million of civilian weapons in the same period. Still, that's small fry compared to the US, which imports $1 billion of small arms and ammunition every year. Let us know if you spot anything interesting. [Google]

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I'd like to see all the weapons, not just the small ones. I'm talking artillery, tanks and all that. That would be interesting.

Also, China's export is 20.5 times its import, quite impressive.