Londoners now have access to an online crime map showing the numbers of robberies, burglaries and vehicle crimes across London. According to this BBC report, “People can type in their postcodes to get the statistics from their area and compare it to other parts of the city. The Metropolitan Police said the £210,00 [sic] site could be expanded to include other types of crime, clean-up rates and local crime-fighting plans. The interactive maps will display monthly crime figures as well as historical data so the public can see yearly trends.”
Several features about this dynamic map appeal to me:
- Simple and intuitive;
- Color coding of the different neighborhoods provides an immediate at-a-glance understanding of the distribution of crime across London;
- Point-and-click pop-up boxes with the three tabs, “summary” (with arrow), “compare”, and “trends” provide additional easily understood information on the underlying statistics (hopefully they’ll add a simple graph to the “trends” tab);
- “Key” box is kept very simple and the “Related Links” box on the lower-right provides information on prevention and response;
- Good use of tabs “Map View”, “Terms”, “Help/FAQs”
I wonder what it would take to make this crime map more real-time and at higher spatial resolution? Would the Metropolitan Police have to rely more on a crowdsourcing approach and mobile technologies, like Ushahidi? How would they validate the reports?