Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The London Murder Map

There have been 130 homicides in London so far this year. The BBC has created an interactive map showing the location of each homicide, the date it occurred and the cause of death. London Killings: All the Victims of 2018 also includes a pen portrait of all 130 of the victims.

The BBC's interactive map uses Carto's temporal functionality to show where and when each London homicide occurred. Press 'play' and the visualization will animate through the whole of 2018 adding markers to the map by the date of each homicide. The colors of each marker indicate the cause of death. Underneath the map a histogram shows the number of murders in each week of the year. This histogram is interactive and can be used to filter the results shown on the map by date range.

The number of homicides in London has reached a ten year high this year. It would be wrong however to think that everything was always better in the past. If you want a little historical perspective then you might want to compare the BBC's map of 2018 homicides with the University of Cambridge's London Medieval Murder Map This map plots the locations of 142 murders which took place in the capital in the City of London during the first half of the 14th century.

Admittedly the 142 murders in medieval London took place over a longer time span than this year's 130 deaths. However the population of London in the 14th century was significantly lower than that of London today. What hasn't changed much is that stabbing was the most dominant form of murder in both medieval and modern London.

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