The Calgary Crime Statistics Dashboard – updated

The Calgary Police Commission released its 2015 citizen survey results, in which they conclude that the Calgary police is highly valued and do an excellent job (see report here). As I have a lot of respect for the “(wo)men in blue” and the job they do I can relate to many findings in the report, but there was also a finding that struck me as odd: “One-half of Calgarians feel that crime has stayed the same over the last twelve months“. Of course this survey is about perception and not facts and numbers, and one cannot expect that all surveyed people are highly aware of their city’s crime statistics. But as someone in the middle of doing some analysis and visualization of those datasets, I wanted to share the crime statistics in a visual and easily consumable way. The dashboard unfortunately shows that crime incidents have strongly increased in 2015, with almost 16,000 crime incidents in 2015 until July (so seven months) compared to just under 19,000 incidents in 2014 (full year).

The dashboard is available on Tableau Public here (or click image below). As the embedding of Tableau Public dashboards in WordPress blogpost leaves a lot of room for improvement at this point the dashboard is not available in this post.

Calgary Crime Statistics Dashboard header

Before drawing any conclusions please have a look at the dashboard and read the Introduction and The data section.

Calgary Crime Statistics data visualized

Calgary provides police reports on the city crime statistics, but they are not easily consumed. With Tableau Public I have tried to provide insight in these statistics in the following dashboard.
Calgary Crime Statistics Dashboard

Although Tableau Public has an embedding function, WordPress doesn’t appear to like it as the result was appalling. So for now, viewing the dashboard works best by going through Tableau website itself, linked above.

It shows general crime trends, details per community, year and category,
CrimeIncidentMap
the crime-to-population ratio for communities,
Crime population ratio
and allows users to compare up to three communities:
Comparing crime between communities

I am happy that the city makes this data available, but I would hope they did so in a more readable and usable format. I hope this dashboard will help exposing this data to the people in Calgary.

Web Scraping 101 with Python & Web Scraping 201: finding the API

I found some articles that explain very clearly how to use Python for web scraping (for non-advanced Python users)

http://www.gregreda.com/2013/03/03/web-scraping-101-with-python/

http://www.gregreda.com/2015/02/15/web-scraping-finding-the-api/

In between these two articles he also wrote: http://www.gregreda.com/2013/04/29/more-web-scraping-with-python/

Then I noted a large number of other interesting articles on Greg Reda’s (https://twitter.com/gjreda; @gjreda) blog, so I would just recommend checking it out: http://www.gregreda.com/blog/

How people read and interpret small visual forms, why tiny details can be hugely useful …, by @lenagroeger

<…> everything from sequences of small graphics that help us make comparisons, to tiny locator maps that help orient us within a larger graphic, to navigation icons that give hints about how we should make our way around a page <…>

Tiny sequences of graphics, also known as small multiples, are great ways to help our brains compare.

Small things can also help us show us a step-by-step process.

Wee things can also be used to orient someone, to give them a bird’s eye view.

Another benefit of wee things is that they pack a punch. A tiny graphic can say a hell of a lot without taking up too much room.

One more benefit of wee thing is that they can help us differentiate individual elements.

Small, strategically placed hints can help direct someone’s attention to what they are supposed to do (affordances), to what will happen once they do it (feedforward), and whether or not they actually did it successfully (feedback).

Wee things can also help us present data up front instead of forcing a user to go seek it out.

Microinteractions can also help us prevent errors.

Microinteractions can add little moments of surprise to an otherwise mundane task.

If this tour of wee things has taught us anything, it that it’s worth trying to make those connections, worth spending a little more time and effort on the details – even if they are very small.