code, github

It’s become almost folklore among mid-sized cities within a 250-mile radius of Chicago to claim “gang members are moving to our town and bringing violence with them”. Go to any city with more than 100,000 people in its metro area and it won’t be hard to find this opinion. I wanted to dig into this claim as see if I could show data one way or the other. I began scraping the Iowa City police blotter every night and storing the arrests in my own database. The blotter contains the crime, the perp, the city they’re from, and where they live now. I then mapped this data on a Google map, filterable by crime, to see if we could actually make sense of what was going on in Iowa City. You can view the map at (no longer active) and look through the code on GitHub. Try it for yourself and see what you think.