Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Google Maps of the Week

It has been a week where crime maps seem to have been omnipresent on Google Maps Mania. This week we saw three very different approaches to mapping crime, each approach with its own advantages and disadvantages.


The Washintgton Post has used the Google Maps API to create a map based visualisation of homicides in the city between 2000 and 2011.

The interactive map Homicides in the District shows the locations of all the homicide victims.The visualisation includes a number of animated heat maps that allow you to view homicide rates year by year, the number of convictions each year, drug killings by year and victims aged 20-24 by year.

It is also possible to view animations of the homicide rates by year for specific neighborhoods by selecting a neighborhood from the list beneath the map.


Philadelphia Homicides 2006-2012 is a map visualization that uses data from the Philadelphia Police Department to animate all Philadelphia homicides from 2006-2012.

The visualization uses the Google Maps API with CartoDB's Torque library. If you like the visualization then you should check out the screencast by the developer on how he created the map. The screencast shows how easy it is to build a compelling map visualization with Torque and the Google Maps API. 


The Berlin Atlas of Crime is a Google Maps based visualisation of crime statistics in the German capital.

The app allows the user to view heat maps of a number of different crime statistics, including burglary, drug offences, vehicle theft etc. For each generated heat map it is possible to select an individual neighbourhood / borough in the city and view a breakdown of all the crime in that area.

The data used in the map comes from the Berlin Atlas of Crime, a biennial report published by the police of the Federal State of Berlin.
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