Visualization of the Week: Every bomb dropped in the London Blitz

Researchers at BombSight.org have developed an interactive map visualizing the London Blitz.

A team of researchers and developers at BombSight.org has put together an interactive map showing every bomb dropped during the London Blitz of World War II, between October 7, 1940, and June 6, 1941. The bird’s eye view of the map (shown below), though inaccessible for deriving any detailed data, shows the sheer volume of destruction wreaked upon the city in those eight months.

Bird's Eye View
Click here for the full visualization.

The real value in this visualization is found when you drill down to specific areas. The dots turn into bomb icons that can be clicked to bring up additional information about that particular devastation, including a “read more” link that brings up a page with related images in that area and related stories from people who were nearby at the time of that bomb drop:

Zoom View
Click here for the full visualization.

You can view the bombs released in aggregate, isolate to the first night of the blitz, or look at the weekly census. Specific areas also can be located via the search box in the top left. You can view the map in street view or satellite view — and you can overlay the 1940s maps as well:

1940s View
Click here for the full visualization.

The group also developed a mobile app that integrates with the map and employs augmented reality to bring the historic bombing to life. The team explains on the site’s about page:

“As you are walking down a street in London and you see a contemporary building in amongst historical buildings you can find out if the building is built at the location of a former bomb site. The app uses the GPS within your phone to locate what street you are on and return information about the bomb locations that fell within 300m of where you are.”

Hat tip to John Burn-Murdoch for highlighting the team’s work at The Guardian.

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