The London Riots: a great infographic

Technology seems to have been a big part of the recent London riots. There was  the use of the Blackberry mobile phones and their encrypted messaging system. (For a really good view of the arguments about technology in the riots see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/default.stm

During the height of the riots I kept up with developments almost as they happened by following the trends on Twitter. To Twitter’s credit it was also the means for the organisation of the post-riot clean-up.

It was from Twitter that I received a link to a really fascinating infographic from a really interesting site.

The site is called “MapTube”  which they explain in the following way:

“MapTube is a free resource for viewing, sharing, mixing and mashing maps online. Created by UCL’s Centre for Spatial Analysis, users can select any number of maps to overlay and view.”

The map that I looked at was of London, where all the areas of deprivation were colour coded. This was overlaid by small icons representing different incidents (with links to their sources) from the many incidents that happened all across the city.

The links to the incidents is fascinating but the overlaying on the deprivation coding added an extra layer of information and something for students who may be looking ,reflecting or analysing the riots to discuss, debate and form theories about.

I really feel that this is an example of where technology can be so interesting and informative. Our children are growing up in a world where the old concept of a static graph is dead and buried and where there are so many interesting ways that they can interact with real world events and the collection and presentation of data. I sincerely hope that schools are aware of the “infographics revolution” and are allowing their children access to it.

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