Victorian Car Crashes Map – Breakdown

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Car Crashes on Victorian roads can now be accessed via VicRoads. Plotting 3 years of these crashes on a map of the state creates the map below

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This post includes more information on what’s behind this visualisation and the interesting things within it. To access an interactive version of the visualisation click here.

Cool Stuff

Buttons in the top right allow combining different variables to display only those crashes on the map. For the most part because of how zoomed out the map is, identifying meaning or significance is fairly limited. The exception to this is the speed limit of where the crash occurred.

Speed limit zones under 50km/h

Speed limit zones under 50km/h

Speed limit zones over 100km/h

Speed limit zones over 100km/h

Speed limits do have the most drastic effect on how the visualisation looks. Not surprising but it is nonetheless cool, with lower speeds showing urban centers and higher speeds highlighting the arterial roads between them.

High Rez

An issue with the visualization in it’s current state is a lot of the points overlap (a heatmap would be more effective) and is slow to render, hence limiting the interactive version to 3 years of data. High resolution images below show 10 years worth of data for Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne respectively. Click to embiggen.

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How & Data Sources

The visualisation is powered by d3. This guide from Mike Bostock is a handy reference for getting started with making maps in d3. The data itself comes from:

  • Crashes: VicRoads Crash Stats extracts here (general 5 year or detailed 10 years) with more info here. Kudos to VicRoads for making this available. It’s a deep dataset and there is a lot more in it than what is displayed on the visualisation above.
  • Roads: VicRoads declared roads dataset is used here as a simple map of major roads in Victoria. For more granular streets, or something nationwide OpenStreetMap is still your best bet.
  • Places: OpenStreetMap via bbbike.org.
  • Victorian Border: This uses the Natural Earth 1:10m dataset, which is okay for this scale. If needing to zoom anymore than this would recommend switching to the ABS datasets (used in the high rez maps above) instead.

Coming Soon

There is plenty more to be found in this data. Expect to see some new versions of this page later featuring:

  • A closer look at certain urban regions and maybe a suburb finder.
  • Something to help finding accident hotspots

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