The New York Times has posted an impressive interactive map to explore homicides in the five boroughs of the city. The paper compiled an extensive database that details the crime location, the race, age and sex of both victim and perpetrator, the timing of the event, and the motive and weapon for all homicides from 2003 through 2008. The map interface includes a timeline that can be explored year by year or by each individual year. There’s also a search window for views of maps and stats for specific zip codes.
The comprehensive nature of this map provides a great service to the public. The initial effort feeds this story about the rise of murder as the summer gets hotter and more citizens are out on the streets interacting. It was obviously a considerable investment, and with that investment comes a commitment to keep the database updated.
There’s even a social media element as the paper is encouraging readers to explore and unlock any new patterns that aren’t discussed, and to suggest follow-up story ideas.