Sunday 7 March 2010

Visualising London Population Growth

Update, 7 June 2011 - See bottom of post for a new animation...

Following the theme of the last post - and the last series of posts with video content and animations, this is a short post on the development of London's population, by Borough, from 1801 to 2001. The data is, of course, Crown Copyright - and I downloaded the files from here, in case you want to know. There are a lot of data here, so how to make sense of it? First of all, an animated bar chart sequence, with the original 1963 Inner London Boroughs (i.e. not the ONS definition) in red and the Outer London Boroughs in blue...

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You can see it in full size here, to enable reading of label names.

The next experiment in visualizing this data was to convert it into a Google motion chart. The results of this are shown below. You can start the graphics by hitting the play button and you can query them by hovering over any of the coloured bubbles. To label a bubble, just click it. It's a bit small here but this is just for illustration. Experiment with the tabs at the top of the initial chart to see the data in a different format. There's lots of options for experimenting here...

Finally, a view of what all this looks like spatially, in 3D.

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As for the data itself, you can discover a lot from these visualizations, but the high point in population for a London Borough was Tower Hamlets in 1901, with 597,000 and the low point was in Brent with 2,000 in 1801 and 1811.

Postscript, 7 June 2011. I've since done a proper London animation for the Centre for Cities. A small version is shown below. For the full version, check this link.

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