An interactive map that lets communities visualise crime

At the annual Spring Hackathon with Google Campus, our team was challenged to create a digital product to benefit local communities, in just 30 hours. We devised, designed and built CrimeTimeline, an interactive map for users to search, filter and visualise local crime.



Our interdisciplinary team enjoy exploring new ideas and technologies, competing to build rapid prototypes at intensive Hackathon weekends. At Google Campus Spring Hackathon in 2013, we were challenged to create a digital product that could make public service information more accessible for local communities. 

Our team was inspired to build CrimeTimeline, an interactive web app that could visualise the levels of crime throughout the UK. Drawing on the Police UK API, users would be able to search, filter and display crime levels in neighbourhoods.This would increase the accessibility of this data for potential or current residents.

But, it presented a technical challenge. In just 30 hours, our developers had to learn how to use the API and integrate heat maps with the Google Maps interface. They also wanted to build a complex feature, which would provide specific data about crime types in visual nodes, with just a single click or tap.


The team built Crimetimeline within the tight time constraints. The interactive map helps users search and filter crime in their area. Categories include violence, burglary, vehicle, drugs, anti-social behaviour and more.

Furthermore, the heat map displays insightful data that educates the public about crime in any area, within the UK. The interface was particularly complex to build. Users can scroll through months of the year, and learn about the changing patterns in crime volume and severity where they live. It can be quite interesting to see the hot spots for shoplifting around shopping centres, and anti-social behaviour around pubs and clubs.

The project was featured in .net Magazine and Creative Bloq for the innovative use of Javascript. The heatmap, street map and location search were built using the Google Maps API v3, while the jQuery and jQRangeSlider plugin were used to generate the date slider and manage the AJAX calls.


30 hours

to build a fully functioning product



of Best Use of Geographic Data



in .NET Magazine

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