Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mapping America's Mass Murders

Yesterday's mass shooting by Aaron Alexis at the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington DC has once again raised the question of why the U.S. is prone to so many occurrences of mass murder. Although I'm not sure how far mass killing maps can go in helping to explain why these incidents occur, mapping is one way that the media can help highlight the staggering number of mass killing incidences in America.

USA Today has created what is probably the best interactive map of mass killings in America. The U.S. Mass Killings since 2006 Map maps mass killings in the U.S. since 2006. The map includes a number of filters that allow the user to filter the data by location, type and method.

The Guardian's US Gun Crime Map looks at American gun crime on a more state-by-state basis. The map looks at firearm murders in 2011 and 2012 in the U.S.. The map includes two heatmap views, one view shows the percentage change in each state of gun related murders between 2011 and 2012. The other view shows the number of firearm murders as a percentage of all murders in each state.

Mother Jones has created a simple map of Mass Shootings in America. Probably of more interest than the actual map is the data behind it. Mother Jones is maintaining a database of US Mass Shootings since 2008. The data includes information about the number of victims, the weapon used and the location.

The Mother Jones data provides the potential for someone to build a better map. The Atlantic Wire has used the Mother Jones data to create an animated map that highlights all the mass killings that have taken place since Barack Obama took office.

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