Map – US Mass Shootings in 2017


It’s unfortunate that the first map I post is on such a heavy topic, but it’s been on my mind since the shooting in Las Vegas last October. Every couple of months there is a particularly bad mass shooting that is covered extensively in the news, but then we return to business as usual. I wondered how often these type of shootings actually occur but never make it beyond the local news. It turns out that it happens a lot.

The Map

This is a fairly simple leaflet map showing the location of mass shooting incidents in the US in 2017. Clicking a point provides basic information with links to more details at the GVA and a news source.

The Data

The shooting incident data came from the Gun Violence Archive.

The basemap was created in TileMill using data from Natural Earth.

The Method

The incident data was downloaded in CSV format and was converted to GeoJSON after a couple tweaks in QGIS. I’m still learning how to use leaflet, but this tutorial made setting up the map pretty simple. Making the points behave correctly was the difficult part.

At first I imported the points as “circle markers”, but I found that they were difficult to click on cell phones. Importing them as “markers” with a custom icon seems to work much better. I still have the problem of overlapping points, making it difficult to select clustered points. There is a plugin for leaflet that will convert those clusters into a large single point that can be clicked and divided, but I don’t really like how it looks, especially for a map that needs to show all of the points as individuals. Maybe I’ll come up with a solution in a future map.

Comments 1

  • Wow, Dan, this is fantastic! Not only do I blue the graphic representation of the data, but the additional information on your sources and method. We need more of that in today‚Äôs biased news.

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