Wk 1: Site Review SF Crimespotting

I chose to compare both LA Crime and SF Crimespotting interactive websites. Similar to LA Crime, SF Crimespotting overlays the city’s crime reports over a map of San Francisco. Crimespotting was built on the premise that civic data, re: crime, should be public and easily accessed by everyone. The website is built to track crimes color coded and classified as (assault/murder, violent, property and quality of life).

Like LA Crimes, there is a calendar of past crimes recorded. A further neat feature SF included is a calendar bar, to personalize the desired number of days of crime to display.

When your arrow hovers over a certain crime in the legend box on right, the map dims to highlight that crime. Cool feature!

In addition, Crimespotting has a Time of Day function, to show crimes done during the day vs. night vs. swing shift, or whatever chunk of time the viewer is interested in. This shows me that of the 22 robbery reports, 13 were committed at night.

Crimespotting also had tabs for Crime Reports and makes available its API information for everyone.

Overall I found SF Crimespotting to be a better user-interface website over LA Crime. It has a modern look, makes use of color and simplifies its function in a user compatible way (arrows, +/- button, scale bars). I also think there is more variety of crime posted on SF than LA (quality of life: narcotics, alcohol). One thing I would have liked to seen on both websites would be motor vehicular and bicycle/pedestrian collisions. It would be interesting to map these collisions, either in proximity to schools or bars. Especially with the time of day feature on Crimespotting in addition to the quality of life: alcohol categorization.  A lot of useful analysis could come out of having this data available on either Crimespotting or LA Crime.

Again, not knowing what my group project will be, it’s hard to tell how useful SF Crimespotting will be. However, the website in general is excellent and well made. It has definitely given me ideas on what are good and bad designs, what applications are useful to the user and how can these be created in an efficient and easy to use way.


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.

Wk 1: Website Assignment

*for creating an infowindow function and combining it with the CreateMarker function, I used code found on this website: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6713996/google-maps-infowindow-in-javascript-creating-multiple-infowindows-through-a-lo

I proposed my 5 metro stops over the communities/cities of Culver City, Palms, Mar Vista and Santa Monica. This area was chosen so as to connect and expand the existing network largely in downtown Los Angeles into parts of west Los Angeles.

The proposed stops were placed in areas of concentrated pedestrian traffic in order to make use of existing infrastructure and services in addition to assisting in the metro stop’s longevity.

Stop #1: Venice Blvd. & Overland Ave. This first stop takes advantage of several bus lines and a host of goods & services available to the metro users. Having easy access to transportation infrastructure and a variety of goods & services make this a convenient stop.

Stop #2: Venice Blvd. & Centinela Ave. The second proposed stop is similar to the proposed Venice/Overland stop, in that there are several available connecting bus lines as well as a variety of goods & services, many of which are ethnically unique. This metro stop could serve as an introduction to different cultures in Los Angeles.

Stop #3: Venice Blvd. & Pacific Ave. This third stop takes advantage of the beach as a favored local and tourist destination in southern California. With bars, restaurants and hotels concentrated along the coast, this metro stop would help bring in economic revenue from visitors.

Stop #4: Pico Ave. & 20th St. This fourth stop is located near Santa Monica College and Virginia Ave. Park. This metro stop would make commuting easier for students, professors and staff and perhaps also increase the amount of physical activity for people.

Stop #5: National Ave. & S. Bundy Dr. The last proposed stop is in front of Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Having this stop here provides another option for getting to the airport. This may incentivize using the Santa Monica Airport as a local hub to LAX for further regional, national and international travel. Increasing patronage at Santa Monica Airport could also help decrease the congestion at LAX.