Dotspotting + Embeds = Great Maps of Prisons, Crime, Pavement Dots

    by Eric Rodenbeck
    July 20, 2011

    There are three basic parts to working with online representations of urban civic data in Dotspotting: collating the data, manipulating it, and then sharing and publishing it. Up until now, we’ve been focused on the first two, which makes sense. Obviously you need to be able to gather and work with the data before you can share it.

    Today we’re announcing the inclusion of the project’s most requested feature: embedding the maps that people make into sites of their own.


    Dotspotting makes tools to help people gather data about cities and make that information more legible. It’s the first project Stamen released as part of Citytracking, a project funded by the Knight News Challenge.

    Dotspotting’s “embed/export” feature has been reworked to include the ability to generate HTML code that you can configure to your own specs, depending on how your site is formatted. Basic embed code is available in default mode, which will generate a map that looks pretty much the way it does on Dotspotting:


    California state prisons on Dotspotting

    There are a couple of different options in embed; so, for example, you can swap out the normal toner cartography for Bing’s new (awesome) map tiles:

    California state prisons on Dotspotting

    We’ve been working with Mission Local, a news organization that reports on our home base of the Mission District, to find ways to take the lessons learned from the Crimespotting project and give this ability to local publications and advocates. The crime theme we’ve developed with them lets you generate maps that look like the one below, if you provide a “crime type” value in your data:

    Crime June 21-28 updated on Dotspotting

    And my favorite so far is the photo theme, which takes a “flickr:id” or “photo_url” field from your data (say, a set on flickr) and generates a visual mapping of where the photos are:

    Dots on the pavement from flickr on Dotspotting

    We’re planning on releasing more of these as time goes by; if you’ve got ideas for a theme you’d like to see, please upload some data and get in touch!

    Tagged: citytracking crime crimespotting dotspotting embed maps mission local prisons stamen

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