Tracking Chicago’s Potholes

A new animated map presents the reported cases of potholes in Chicago since November—the maps colorful and provides insights into how the city, and our relationship to it, can change with time.
April 4, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Vikki Ortiz Healy reports for the Chicago Tribune about a new animated map of pothole reports from November to this week in the city of Chicago. To create the map, Elliott Ramos downloaded data from the city of Chicago’s website, “which meticulously documents all pothole reports.”

The map blinks like a Christmas tree as the number and density of reported potholes expands and contracts with time. January through February, for instance, might require sunglasses for viewing given the density of reported potholes.

According to Healy’s article, Ramos created the visualization to help residents understand the nuances of how data manifests around the city. “At a wide glance, Ramos’ map, which took him less than an hour to create, shows an orange dot for each pothole report. The orange fades to yellow/pink as time elapses. The point, he said, is to demonstrate how the number of pothole reports changes over time, and that there can be days with a surge of reportings — such as just after Jan. 1 or at Jan. 15 — perhaps when more people are home to notice or are inspired by media reports,” writes Healy.

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Published on Friday, April 4, 2014 in Chicago Tribune
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