Czech Crime

An award-winning project, that visualizes crime data for the first time in history of the Czech Republic. Needless to say, it does it light years better than the official Excel tornado produced by the Czech police. It is beyond belief up to this date how was it possible for anyone to make sense of those spreadsheets, let alone base decisions upon them…

    The challenge

An open data oriented NGO had to save the day. It managed to slowly persuade the police that the society won't collapse by mere freeing the data. Quite the opposite – it will be used by a variety of people from regular citizens, through journalists and academics, to experts on criminality. And that is what’s happening.

    The result

Shortly after its launch, the map has been featured on several main news servers and it attracted more than 30 thousand visitors. It received both cheers and boos (“Let’s change the attitude towards crime and no stupid maps will be necessary. This feels like a bad dream… Map of crime, well, FML…”). It got the discussion going and showed the true nature of Czech criminality for the first time ever. Without emotions, without bias, objectively. However always within the boundaries of what has ever reached the police radar or what is the police willing to engage in.

The map collects monthly data on a long term basis. This gradually highlights the patterns of criminality across the entire country – with all data imperfection included. Future plans include displaying the crime on the street level, but that is all dependent on the willingness of Czech police to periodically release further data.

Czech Crime has won the first prize in the international data visualization competition On Think Tanks and was shortlisted in a prestigious competition Infromation Is Beautiful, where it got suggested by David McCandless. It has also been featured at the Big Bang Data exhibition in DOX Centre of Contemporary Art. Well, FML…

I created the map together with Zdenek Hynek for the Open Society NGO.