Irish Road Deaths Website with an Interactive map

Ken McGuire mentions that John Butler is going to build

I’m all for the creation of a website with a map of Ireland that lists all locations of the road deaths. What I’d love to see is a map that had more details in the popover such as time the accident happened etc. Perhaps additionally over time some stats could be run showing the worst places that accidents occur, per capita etc. There’s lots of stats out there but I don’t think they’re readily available and up to date on a web site. It might take a Freedom of Information request to get hold of the detailed information.

While it starts off with Google maps I’m sure over time that a nice mapping group might provide a free licence to use a more robust map. As we discovered with the broadband coverage map, it takes a while to load a map of Ireland with so many locations on it. Best of luck to John!

9 Responses to “Irish Road Deaths Website with an Interactive map”

  1. John Butler says:

    Thanks Damien!
    I certainly want to include as much information as I can. I contacted the Garda press office earlier today, they said they’ll put me on their daily mailing list for Road Traffic Accident reports, so we’ll see what happens.

  2. blankpaige says:

    Anything that raises the profile of the carnage has to be a good thing. But presumably accidents are more likely to happen in areas with high car density.

    I’d prefer to see a simpler analysis in which the Gardai or media make an informed guess as to the contributing factors (e.g. speed, drink, road surface, driver error, etc).

    Once six months of data has been collected (about 200 lives), we should then target that cause (e.g. enforce speed limits) until it stops being the number one cause. If we keep focused on the number one cause, we’d make inroads and the tabloid media would have something simple to concentrate on.

  3. John says:

    I still think a countdown timer using the average number of deaths per day/hour would be an effective message.

    15hrs 21 minutes until the next death
    15hrs 20 minutes until the next death
    15hrs 19 minutes until the next death
    15hrs 18 minutes until the next death

    Every death on the road resets the counter and a new average time left re calculated


  4. I like the countdown timer as well, especially if it’s exportable as an RSS feed. Accurate data gathering for this road deaths tracking is a major undertaking.

  5. John Butler says:

    John: I think that countdown timer is an excellent idea. I will certainly look into it, I think the timer would have to be weighted more at the weekend however since most fatal accidents happen during that period.

  6. John says:

    Weighting should be easy enough to pull in.

    Seeing as it looks like a runner, how about I write up a php script that kicks out the timer result and see how it goes.

    Should be easy enough to plop it into a html page.


  7. John Butler says:

    John, I’m looking at integrating this whole thing with wordpress as much as possible. The map will be generated from meta data from press releases posted in a particular category, I would also then look at generating the timer from that same data to lessen my workload…
    If you want to make a simple timer based on the figures the Gardai have released though, do have a go by all means.

  8. John says:

    Thats fine, I was looking at using a basic MySQL database to hold the info, history and data anyway. So I’ll plow on with that for the time being and once you get you wordpress database populated we can see how best to query the database.

    It would be very useful to have the metadata format ie. is it going to be
    Lat, Lon, GMT Time, Number etc etc?

    That way I’ll prepare the script for that type of format and it should make it easier to implement/amend afterwards?

    Damien can give you my email or msn if you want to discuss offline?


  9. John says:

    Basic algorithm is in place, I have the php includes to query a wordpress database, just need to tidy and secure them.

    Starting to play with weighting the results for weekends, 10pm-4am etc

    Some of that will be rough guesses until we have all the data and can look back at historic times and dates, but if I get it right the script should calculate the weighting automatically. That way if an emerging trend that crashes happen in the afternoon, the script will weight towards afternoons.

    It will still require a judgement call on what size window to use to generate the weighting, say last two weeks data or everything from the year start?