August 2011 London riot maps

There is an instinct, when things go bad, to want to make sense of the situation by putting the fragments of information that you have on a map. Things are going badly around London tonight, and several people are making sense of it the best they can with maps of what is being reported on Twitter as #londonriot.

I'm keeping links to the original sites here, but the maps I'm including are not live embedded versions – click through for those – but rather snapshots of a moment in time.

More information: London Riots, The Big Picture (photo gallery); London Riots Spread To Other British Cities (VOA News).


London riots / UK riots: verified areas is an interactive Google map with incident reports and some details, edited by James Cridland, managing director of Reporting comes from Twitter plus news agencies, and this map has more individual incidents mapped than others. This map was picked up in the Guardian's live blog of the riots, which is (as is usual for the Guardian) thorough and informative.
Picture 5


The Telegraph: London Riots, all incidents mapped in London and around the UK. Pins on the map link to incident reports, many from the Telegraph live blog.

Picture 3
Channel 4's London Riots Interactive Timeline Map shows incidents as red targets on a dark background. The interactive slider (not shown) lets you watch how incidents have spread over time.

Picture 4 uses the hash tag #londonriot combined with mentions of London postal codes to parcel out the information across a map. It's a quick way to distribute the information geographically, but it's not especially precise, as it will occasionally have someone commenting about a location that does not have any incidents going on. Ben Firshman (@bfirsh) notes the limitations: "My map's not intended to replace editorially curated maps. It's a visualisation."

Picture 2


3 thoughts on “August 2011 London riot maps

  1. Scott T.

    Ed, thanks for this roundup. I spent about 3 minutes yesterday looking for an incident map and couldn’t find one. This is definitely my instinct to try to understand an event like this.


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