Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Croud-sourcing information for collision maps

The police STATS19 reports contain few details about victims and the circumstances of collisions. Linking these to press reports, blog posts & local campaigns can give more information on the people involved, the incident, the investigations and any court cases.

Finding, linking and mapping press reports about all road fatalities in the UK would be a huge task to undertake. Therefore I wanted to look at ways of allowing members of the public to submit reports online in a way which could be easily mapped and linked to other data.

I've created the form below as a prototype - please try it out and let me know what you think.

The main challenge was getting the location data. Ideally the user would be able to click on a map and have the location recorded. I wasn't able to do that, so the user has to copy the latitude and longitude in to the form - OK on desktop, but really not phone/tablet friendly.


The form populates this table (email addresses removed):

This probably needs a disclaimer 'This data includes links and information submitted by the community, please contact us if you believe any of the information is inaccurate or inappropriate'.

Using the data

  • This data could be mapped to provide real time logging of incidents.
  • Once the STATS19 collision reports are published it would be possible to link the data sets. These could be matched with a good degree of accuracy using the date and a search radius, however this might still need a final check by a human. 
  • Similarly, this could be used to link historic reports to the STATS19 data to improve our understanding of the accident history of locations.
  • This form (or similar) could be used by people currently recording collision reports to put the data in a consistent format which would allow it to more easily mapped in future.
Mapping of collision reports is already being undertaken by a few people (here for instance) and if efforts were to be put in to this it would be good to coordinate to avoid duplicating efforts and ensure data could be transferred across if needed.