Since 1950, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is mandated with the coordination of aid and assistance for refugees worldwide. According to its self-description, its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. Over 6,000 people in more than 110 countries work for the UNHCR. Founded in 1951 as a means to assist the more than one million people who were still uprooted after World War II, the agency's mandate covered about 10 million refugees in 2009. This visualization attempts to give a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of flight and expulsion, an ongoing issue of global scale and extreme complexity.
Based on the annual UNHCR Refugee Report, the application allows views from different perspectives on the extensive dataset, highlighting different aspects. The idea for this visualization originated from a class project on the topic of mapping global tendencies at Potsdam University of Applied Sciences in 2008. The current application's interface was completely rebuilt in late 2009.