The Electronic Freedom Foundation’s Atlas of Surveillance is an interactive map and searchable database of surveillance technologies used by law enforcement across the United States. “We specifically focused on the most pervasive technologies, including drones, body-worn cameras, face recognition, cell-site simulators, automated license plate readers, predictive policing, camera registries, and gunshot detection. Although we have amassed more than 5,000 datapoints in 3,000 jurisdictions, our research only reveals the tip of the iceberg and underlines the need for journalists and members of the public to continue demanding transparency from criminal justice agencies.” [Maps Mania]
The London Medieval Murder Map
A project of Cambridge’s Violence Research Centre, the London Medieval Murder Map is an interactive map that plots 142 murders from the first half of the 14th century onto one of two maps of London: a 1572 map from Braun and Hogenberg’s Civitates Orbis Terrarum or a map of London circa 1270 published by the Historic Towns Trust in 1989. The interactive map is powered by Google Maps, but the Braun and Hogenberg is not georectified, so the pushpins shift as you toggle between the base maps. [Ars Technica]
For Sale: Original Copy of Chicago Gangland Map
Much is being made of the sale by Daniel Crouch Rare Books of an original copy of a pictorial map of Prohibition-era Chicago. Published in 1931, A Map of Chicago’s Gangland from Authentic Sources featured the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and other episodes from Chicago’s gang wars and numerous other scenes of rum-running, police corruption and gang activity. So naturally the authorities did their best to suppress the map. The map will be on display at the London Map Fair this weekend; Daniel Crouch is asking £20,000 for it. But if you don’t have that kind of money, other copies do exist in libraries, such as Chicago’s Newberry Library, which I believe has sold facsimile reprints of the map. See coverage from Atlas Obscura, CBS Chicago and the Daily Mail. [Tony Campbell]
Some Gun Maps
Reddit user academiaadvice maps the rate of gun homicides per 100,000 residents by state from 2007 to 2016 (above).
From 2015: Business Insider’s map showing, by state, the rate of gun ownership. Note that the two maps do not precisely correlate. [both via Boing Boing]
The Washington Post has maps of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—where last week’s shooting took place—and its surrounding area.
Mapping Mass Shootings
CityLab maps the geography of mass shootings in America since 1982, “both geographically and by number. ‘Mass shooting’ is defined as an incident during which four or more people are killed during a single attack in a public place, excluding the shooter. This is one of the more conservative counts—the data does not include shootings that took place during conventional crimes, like armed theft or gang violence.”
See also Vox’s collection of maps and infographics and Maps Mania’s roundup of gun violence maps.
How Many Fake Business Listings Are There on Google Maps?
Bogus business listings on Google Maps have been a thing for a while; a new research paper, authored by researchers at Google and the University of San Diego, tries to quantify the scale and scope of the problem. The New Scientist reports:
To analyse the scope of this abuse, the group looked at over 100,000 listings that the Google Maps team had identified as abusive between June 2014 and September 2015. The fraudulent listings most often belonged to services like locksmiths, plumbers and electricians.
Overall, less than one per cent of Google Maps listings were fraudulent, but pockets of fake listings emerged. In West Harrison, New York, for example, more than 80 per cent of locksmiths listed were scams. The U.S. was home to over half of the fraudulent listings, followed by India with 17.5 per cent.
Mapping Bomb Threats Against Jewish Organizations
ProPublica is tracking—and mapping—bomb threats against Jewish organizations and community centers in the United States. As of this moment, there have been 133 threats against 99 locations since January 1st.
Gatineau Crime Map
I live 45 minutes outside the western Quebec city of Gatineau, which itself lies just across the river from Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Yesterday Gatineau’s police service launched a crime map that shows seven categories of crime—arson, assault, break-ins, robbery, theft from a vehicle, theft of a vehicle, and vandalism. The cops are careful to stress (media release in French) that the map is for informational purposes only; the data isn’t suitable for data-crunching, and the locations aren’t precise enough to pinpoint specific buildings.
Here’s an appropriately spooky map for Halloween: Grim London, a map that celebrates the creepy side of London’s history. “Bringing the scary truths to life, Grim London is a personalised interactive map of the most spine-chilling events that have occurred across the capital.” [TimeOut London]
The Geography of American Incarceration
The New York Times maps “the geography of American incarceration,” in an investigative piece that includes an interactive map showing prison admissions per county. They’ve diverged sharply in recent years: less populous, more rural, more conservative counties are doubling down on being tough on crime.
Just a decade ago, people in rural, suburban and urban areas were all about equally likely to go to prison. But now people in small counties are about 50 percent more likely to go to prison than people in populous counties.
They’re also more likely to get much stiffer sentences—something the map is not able to track.
In the U.S., Toddlers Shoot People Often Enough That It Can Be Mapped
Of all the statistics related to gun violence in the U.S. that could be mapped, this has got to be one of the most bizarre: from the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, the number of times a toddler has shot someone since 2015, by state. [Landon Schnabel]
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