Friday, August 15, 2008

Lots More Crime on Google Maps

Met Crime Mapscreenshot of the Met Crime Map
The London Metropolitan Police have released a crime map of London. The London boroughs are colour-coded to show how crime rates in each borough compare to London's average.

The Met Crime Map is currently still in Beta and is a reasonable first effort. I particularly like the feature that shows whether crime in each borough has fallen or risen year-on-year. Unfortunately, however, it suffers from the UK police's continuing refusal to release location data about individual crimes. Therefore the map only shows crime data on a ward by ward basis.

If that is all the map is going to show then it compares unfavourably with The London Profiler. The London Profiler only shows crime on a borough by borough basis as well, because it has to work from the Met Office's statistics, but The London Profiler allows you to sort the data by different types of crime. Currently The Met Crime Map only shows burglary, robbery and vehicle crime and doesn't let you differentiate between them. Hopefully they have plans to map other types of crime.

Via: Mapperz

London Knife Crimescreenshot of London Knife Crime
In the UK there has been a spate of knife crimes. This map from SpotCrime geo-tags knife crimes in the capital. Each of the crimes is summarised under the map and clicking on a tag reveals a link to more details about each individual knife crime.

SpotCrime provide crime maps for 130 US cities and have recently added 10 Canadian cities to their ever growing coverage of crime.

Update: SpotCrime have contacted me today to point out another feature available on their site. By adding the crime id's of individual crimes to SpotCrime's url (with comma separation) you can create your own map featuring only the crimes you have selected.

For example,,1688974,1688973 is a map of just three crimes in Hatfield, UK. If you check out the map you will see that all three crimes are very similar, all take place within about one mile of each other and all take place at a certain time of night. This is another feature that the Metropolitan Police should add to their map.

Hidden: On the Trail of a Bank Robber (dead link removed)
This Google Map mash-up from the Charleston Gazette charts the interesting story of serial bank robber Roy Plummer.

Roy Plummer robbed at least 14 banks in the 1980s. He fooled, among others, his first wife and baseball star John Kruk. The map shows the banks that Plummer robbed and a few others that the FBI believe he robbed as well.



Anonymous said...

You didn't realise the maps breaks into wards and subwards giving the resident more useful data. Keep zooming and you'll see.
You can also search by postcode.

Keir Clarke said...

Thanks - I didn't notice that and should have because I know the Met does release crime on a ward by ward basis.

I've edited the post to correct the error. I feel the point however remains the same. The Met should be releasing the data on an individual crime basis - so each crime can be mapped and the crimes can be sorted both by location and type -e.g. as you can do with SpotCrime.