Crime data stories

lacrimemap.jpgLots of news organizations have created crime maps online; many of those maps include searchable databases. But the Los Angeles Times has taken crime data to a whole new level on its Homicide Map. All homicides for the year are mapped by location, but also sorted by age, race/ethnicity, gender, cause of death, day of week. You can tell at a glance that more people die of gunshots in LA than any other cause, and that the overwhelming majority of victims are male. But that’s not what’s so innovative here. If you click on a name in the list of victims, a pop-up window appears on the map with details about the person’s death and an opportunity to comment. Hundreds of people have weighed in with comments like these about the death of Eddie Green:

Boobie, was more then a friend to me he was my brother and an uncle to my children. GOD I MISS YOU SO MUCH BOOBIE……. I can’t understand this unfamiliar feeling of HURT…. Get togethers won’t be the same with your smile not there lighting up the place.

THE THINGS THAT I WILL MISS MOST ABOUT U R SMILE AND THAT GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR. (CLOWN) THE QUESTION I HAVE IS WHO IS GOING TO BE MY FRIEND NOW? WHO WILL CALL ME ALL DAY LONG & LATE @ NIGHT? WHO WILL I WATCH THE FIRST 48 HRS WITH NOW THAT UR GONE?

These personal stories add power and meaning to what had been a dry list of data. Outstanding work.

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