I’ve been playing around with Google My Maps for a couple years, especially since they’ve made it free. A year ago, I made a map of the NFL teams and their stadiums but I accidentally deleted it.
I’ve always had an interest in criminal justice and in local affairs so I decided to do a map of the homicides in New Haven, CT in the last few years. In the New Haven Register, I found lists of homicides for 2016, 2015, and 2014. For each year, I made a spreadsheet of the victim’s age, location & date of incident, race, gender, and link to news story.
For location, I wrote a description of where the homicide happened but in my spreadsheet I used coordinates to make sure this was as accurate as possible. Oftentimes, I determined the location using news photos and videos.
I thought I was done at 2014 but then I found a spreadsheet with homicides in the city up until 2010. It was on a defunct New Haven Register blog that was dedicated to homicides. This saved me a ton of work and allowed me to easily finish the map.
UPDATE (3/4): My friend Steve is a cartographer and he gave me some good advice on making the map better, aesthetically. He highly recommended changing the rectangles with years to points to clean up the map a bit. I hesitated at first but I find the look much more professional.
2010 to 2016
Several people have said that I need to have my map tell a story about homicides in New Haven. I’m still looking for that story but I did a ton of research and so I could visualize additional data about the homicides besides location.
Homicides Per Year (2010-2016)
From 2010 to 2016, there were a total of 133 homicides in New Haven.
For a frame of reference, the city’s population (according to the 2010 Census) was 129,779. In 2014 (according to the latest Census stats I can find) the population was 130,282.
Average Age of Victim (2010-2016)
- The average homicide victim in New Haven from was 29.
- The oldest victim was 66 and the youngest was 1 (19 months).
- In 2010 there was a victim who remains unidentified. He was estimated to be between 20 and 30. I have not counted him in the chart below.
Homicides by Age Groups (2010-2016)
- People between the ages of 21 and 30 made up 40% of homicide victims.
- People between 11 and 20 made up 22% of homicide victims, as did people between 31 and 40.
Homicides by Race (2010-2016)
- The white category includes 1 victim of Lebanese heritage.
- Both Asian victims were of Indian heritage.
Blacks are the only racial group that are disproportionately overrepresented as homicide victims.
Homicides by Gender (2010-2016)
Overall, men make up 94% of homicide victims while women make up 6%.
Homicides by Month