Chicago Crime Almanac

developed for David Tracy

The Chicago Crime Almanac is a set of time-series visualizations of various crimes since January 1 of 2001. The City of Chicago’s Data Portal served as the point of departure for this study since it maintains a robust and public data repository. What types of urban dynamics can be revealed through the combination of data sets? See the fully interactive maps here.

I started with the Crimes dataset. The city has logged an array of criminal offenses including homicides, prostitution arrests, criminal sexual assaults, batteries, motor vehicle thefts, burglaries, and offenses involving children among many others. Since the data set includes latitude, longitude, and date time of the crime I decided to create time-series visualizations to take a look at areas Chicago that have recent high crime rates and how that may have changed over time.

I first wrote a script with Python to process and parse the massive (1.3gb)crimes dataset into smaller, cleaner, more manageable lists. This also helped me eliminate superfluous data. To sketch out the visualizations, I used CartoDB, a web based tool that crosses SQL databases for use with map visualizations.

The next step I took was to overlay my animations on socio-economic data. No surprises, the poorest neighborhoods are crime hubs for certain offenses. I also created line graphs using the pandas library for Python to show how crime volume spikes and trends over time.

Remote Presence was a personal project completed during my studies at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. I was responsible for all aspects of design and development.

  • Client - David Tracy
  • Date Completed - Fall 2015
  • Skills/Tools Used - Python, CartoDB