Wk 1: Site Review LA Crime

I evaluated LA Crime from the Los Angeles Times, which maps crime data from the police department over google maps of Los Angeles cities and neighborhoods. Opening page asks for your address or neighborhood. They also have mini updates for recent crime alerts and overall rankings for violent and property crime:

Once you’ve designed your area (I put in my address), LA Crime will do a crime analysis. Violent crime is further broken to homicide, rape, assault and robbery. Property Crime is broken into burglary, theft, grand theft auto and theft from vehicle. Using LA City Planning data, a profile of your neighborhood/area is outlined on google maps with any pertinent violent or property crimes falling within the outline color coded. A timeline below the map allows the user to see what crimes were committed in the past, with the interactive map continuously refreshing. Text summaries below of the last week criminal history are listed.

And if you continue scrolling down, the last 6 month significant crime histories of the designated area are also given with pie charts and graphs for those who prefer visuals. Lastly, the designated area is ranked among all the cities/neighborhoods in LA county with a sliding bar visual and contact information for the presiding police department.

In addition to crime reports, at the top of LA Crimes are also tabs for more information on your designated location such as: a profile of neighborhood demographics and population, schools in the area and local public comment.

LA Crime provides thorough crime information in a easy to use interactive map. It is almost repetitive in the different ways (text, charts, pie graphs, visuals) it presents the same crime data in order to appeal to all users. There is a lot of information on one page. While I appreciate all the different types of information provided, It would be nice for users if this was separated or broken up somehow so as to limit the necessity of scrolling down. Aesthetically, the program is not very appealing. There is a lot of white space on the page and the use of dull colors dampens the visual appeal of LA Crime. Using more colors other than shades or red or brown would be more attractive.

I have not yet decided on my group project and don’t know if LA Crime would be useful. However, if my project focuses on LA, this website would be a great starting point in familiarizing myself with a particular neighborhood or city.

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