Where the Criminals Rested Their Head At Night

Lauren MacIntyre: “Eric Cadora and Charles Swartz, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based Justice Mapping Center, collaborated on the project with an architect named Laura Kurgan, at Columbia’s Spatial Information Design Lab. “What started out as a scholarly inquiry has turned into a national initiative,” said Cadora, whose team has mapped twelve cities so far. Their New York is a digital crazy quilt of “bright-against-black”: the areas least touched by incarceration in 2003, the year they chose to study (Riverdale, Bay Ridge, the West Village), appear black and gray; those more so (Coney Island, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Hell’s Kitchen) neon orange.”

The maps show the home address of those sent to prison, from which researchers can determine crime patterns. The article refers—but does not link—to the Justice Mapping Center, a WordPress-powered site with slideshows on the sidebar which display maps. The slideshows pop over the website using Lightbox, and use a technique I first saw on Jason Kottke's photo galleries to navigate to the next and previous slides (that is, one half of the slide is 'previous', the other half is 'next'). I wish the maps had a little more analysis, either in the slide text or maybe with an audio description. It's also a shame that I can't link to individual slideshows, unless there's something I've missed. Otherwise, the maps are a beautiful display of an interesting look at crime, that is, not where the acts were committed but where the criminals rested their heads at night.

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