New homicides map

We just launched this interactive map with details about 2,294 homicides that occurred in D.C. between 2000 and 2011. You can find the killings in your neighborhood, follow the trends over time, and learn how the victims died and what happened to their cases.

Key findings featured in the graphic:
Click the headline to jump straight to that view in the map.

Homicides in D.C. are down 55 percent since 2000
The number of homicides in the District fell last year to 108, a 49-year low. Despite the decline, homicide continues to be a tough crime to solve and prosecute in the city.

Motives: Drug killings down 84 percent
The most common motives for homicide in D.C. are arguments, drugs and retaliation. About 2 percent are classified as gang-related. Homicides involving drugs have decreased about 84 percent since 2000. Drug-related homicides accounted for eight of the city’s killings last year, compared with 49 in 2000.

Most dangerous age: 24 percent of those killed were in their early 20s
More than half of the District’s homicide victims between 2000 and 2011 were between the ages of 15 and 29. About 93 percent of those victims were male, and 94 percent were African American.

Homicides map

Published in The Washington Post, Oct. 14, 2012

As I designed this app, I was thinking about how to allow people to quickly find homicides in their area. That led to a decision to focus on neighborhoods. We let people see groupings of crimes that are meaningful to them in both the map and corresponding charts. To surface trends at a city-wide level, we added four promo spots above the map that send people directly to important stories in the app. And a timelapse feature lets people view trends, year by year, across the city and in specific neighborhoods. We’re getting great feedback from users; many people are telling us that they found surprising and intriguing information in the app.

Role: Design, light programming

Tools used: JavaScript, Google Maps API, Flot, CSS

Awards: Gold medal in the SND Digital competition, Silver medal at Malofiej for design

More JavaScript maps: 2010 census, Republican primary tracker, Earthquake in Japan

Seeing liberty through the lens

The Post has some of the best photojournalists in the world, and it’s always such a pleasure to work with them. For this three-part series on Virginia voters, Melina Mara took portraits of Virginians and interviewed them. Nick Kirkpatrick recorded and edited audio from the interviews. Then Bonnie Jo Mount traveled the state to photograph the themes: women, economy, and faith. Grace Koerber designed the beautiful package, and I was her editor. After she left the Post to go back to school for interior design, I handled the second two installments, putting together the mosaics and working on package branding. I love the slideshow and mosaic pattern Grace designed — it’s an inspiring way to do individual portraits and interviews. The ability to view images as a mosaic or in a full-screen gallery view is awesome.

For part two and three, I designed the mosaics. It was fun to lay out the page, especially with Bonnie Jo’s amazing photographs to work with. You can’t go wrong: