This is London

Map of London colour-coded for social deprivation index; the darker the red, the poorer the area. Little volcano icons represent riot actions as of ~9pm GMT Tuesday 9th August 2011. Click through for full-size interactive/zoomable version.

London riot locations mapped over deprivation index

Of course, these riots are have nothing to do with poverty or deprivation. After all, they could all have decent jobs if only they just tried harder, right? </sarcasm>

EDIT: for those interested, the 2010 English Indices of Deprivation are collated by (believe it or not) the Department for Communities and Local Government themselves; here’s a PDF summary, or you can dig around here for more detailed versions or direct access to data.

13 thoughts on “This is London”

  1. Look forward to a Manchester equivalent, which will presumably show all the deprived people in the Northern Quarter looting themselves. Much like the people of Notting Hill and the Chelsea King’s Road are shown doing on this infographic.

    Can’t help feeling the wee volcanoes might also correlate to areas where there are shops, and that the people who attacked those shops don’t actually live above them.

  2. Nice map. you mean “Of course, these riots HAVE nothing to do with poverty or deprivation” right?

  3. Hi Paul:

    Your London rioting / deprivation map is of considerable interest, but would be a great deal more valuable as a resource if you added some details as to the source of the deprivation index (and the riot reports too, ideally), so that those who view your map will have some basis for evaluating the information on which it is based.

    If that information is already well known in the UK, please point me to it — I’m writing from California, and the work you are doing is likely to be of more than UK-local interest.

    Many thanks,


  4. @Sterling – Took me a moment to see where you were going there, but yes, exactly.

    @Charles – excellent point, well made. Post edited to include links to deprivation stats. 🙂

  5. Given the first few criminals that have been jailed have jobs where does that leave the ‘intelligence’ of this map?

  6. Great work! Importing the .kml file into Google Earth is terrific! All the sites are listed in the left-hand menu & most pop-ups have the source. Some places outside London are also included.

    If you are still adding material, could we have the updated londonriots_verified_20110809_1514.kml file would be great!

    Very VERY nice, I’ve thought many times of doing something like this, great way to visualise.

    Nico Morrison
    London & India

  7. Some notes:

    * I used the 2004 Index of Multiple Deprivation as the background choropleth map, as the 2010 one wasn’t yet available on CASA MapTube – the system I used to create the mashup. Ideally I would have used the 2010 dataset. I think (although not 100% sure) that the deciles were recalculated for the London area, i.e. 10% of the areas of London have each colour.
    * The riots datapoints (and icons) come from a KML file of verified locations produced by James Cridland, I copied the file at 3pm BST on Tuesday (not 9pm GMT). Since then he has added a couple of new locations, but then has stopped updating it – instead, the Guardian seems to be maintaining a definitive set of data of all locations. Ideally I would have linked directly to his KML file rather than my copy, or even to the Guardian’s one.
    * The road background is from OpenStreetMap, I found its colour scheme was less distracting than the regular Google one.

  8. I mentioned this map on SocialEdge — which focuses on facilitating social entrepreneurship — and drew a comment from Dan Bassill, who runs a Tutor/Mentor operation in Chicago, and is a major advocate of the use of mapping technologies to empower programs that provide social benefit — eg by showing where mentoring programs exist, where schools are failing, where churches and businesses that might provide support are located, etc. I figured your London map, and even more so the software & know how on which it based, would likely be of interest to him.

    And voila! .

    For some of Daniel’s own work, see .

    It would be great if you (Ollie? Paul?) could collaborate with Dan Bassill — give him a technology assist perhaps, get some ideas for further ways to use mapping in socially positive ways from Dan’s work? He has quite an inventory of tools for local entrepreneurship ventures — highly & warmly recommended!

  9. It’s interesting to note the outliers that sit in the midst of otherwise thoroughly blue areas, and then, after a moment’s consideration, to think on the notion that it’s relative rather than absolute deprivation, inequality or social exclusion that’s at the core of recent events. In other words, it’s how excluded your situation makes you feel relative to those around you, not where you sit in exact, real terms on somebody’s graph.

    Oh, and whoever made the point about jobs… I’d be much more interested if you could point to the rioter who has a job that pays over thirty thousand a year.

  10. Right now I’m imagining the London of Richard Morgan’s ‘Market Forces’, where disadvantaged areas of the city are walled off. That’s quite a lot of area we’ll need to encircle, even if it’s just the red bits. Might have to do a little forced relocation first.

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