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The Information Capital: London Looks Pretty In Data

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By M@ Last edited 31 months ago
The Information Capital: London Looks Pretty In Data
Football tribes. Clubs by popularity via Twitter data. See if you can work out which club is represented by which colour. High-res version.
Football tribes. Clubs by popularity via Twitter data. See if you can work out which club is represented by which colour. High-res version.
Lost and found at Heathrow. Clothes are most commonly left behind, with computer equipment a close second. 20 people inexplicably left torches behind in 2013. High-res version.
Lost and found at Heathrow. Clothes are most commonly left behind, with computer equipment a close second. 20 people inexplicably left torches behind in 2013. High-res version.
Median flat prices across London. White (mostly central) areas show no properties under £250,000. Then, the lighter the colour the lower the median flat price. Yellow bands show properties selling for £85,000. High-res version.
Median flat prices across London. White (mostly central) areas show no properties under £250,000. Then, the lighter the colour the lower the median flat price. Yellow bands show properties selling for £85,000. High-res version.
9.4 million tweets on one map. The different colours reflect different home countries of users (for example, yellow is Spain while grey is UK. High-res version.
9.4 million tweets on one map. The different colours reflect different home countries of users (for example, yellow is Spain while grey is UK. High-res version.

"This book could not have been made ten years ago. Computers weren't powerful enough." So opens this marvellous volume from datamongers James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti. The pair have crunched vast data sets to craft 100 information-rich maps about the capital.

As you might expect, they've pounded the census data for all it's worth, spinning out maps of ethnicity and immigration, language and professions. But they've also corralled information from dozens of other sources. The transport visualisations are particularly impressive. A map of the skies shows all the flight paths into London, whose invisible topographies include the Lambourne and Ockham Stacks round which planes circle before approaching Heathrow. A chart subtitled Hardly Anyone is Riding the Emirates Air Line shows just how quiet the cable car is. They even acquired data from Londonist to show how words such as 'Olympics' and 'Royalty' rose and fell in usage over the past six years.

The book is infinitely compelling, one you'll return to time and again, and full of 'wow, you have to see this' moments. It reinforces the notion that information really can be beautiful. Finally, the intelligent infographic has been grappled from the claws of marketeers and PR companies, who've long abused the medium to peddle dodgy survey results and client messages.

The Information Capital by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti is published by Particular Books on 30 October, but can be pre-ordered via the link. Declaration: Londonist contributed content to two of the graphics in the book.

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Last Updated 24 October 2014