Inspired by Robert Hodgin‘s impressive work, I decided I wanted to take a crack at making animations in Processing. Inspired by Rob Goodspeed‘s thoughtful experiments, I figured I might as well try to make it about something interesting.
The DC Office of the CTO makes a lot of interesting data available, so I decided to take a crack at doing something with it. Here’s my first pass: it’s a visualization of every reported crime incident in 2007.
Blue means property crime — robbery, larceny, etc. Red means violence — assaults, murders and the like. Green means sex crimes. The color-coding is obviously less than perfect, but is at least sort of interesting. Each frame in the video represents 8 hours — one police shift. Colors gradually fade to a dark, translucent gray after two weeks’ worth of time has elapsed. You can view a larger version of this video by clicking through to the movie’s Vimeo page, and an even better-quality version by then scrolling down to the lower right for a Quicktime download link. You’ll need to log in or create a Vimeo account for the Quicktime — but you should! Vimeo is the best videosharing site I’ve used by a mile.
At the moment I’m trying to figure out where I should go from this point. A few ideas:
- Add graphs and a calendar display to help users see the relative levels of crime over the course of the movie
- Identify and place a street map under the crime visualization
- Produce a static, high-resolution render showing the differences in location of crime between 2007 and 2008 (YTD)
- Do it all over again with the city’s pothole data (also geocoded!)
- Add a jaunty soundtrack
If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. Those of you interested in the geeky details should keep an eye on EchoDitto Labs — if I can find time I’ll be posting an accounting of the tools I used over there.
City-mandated disclaimer after the jump