Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

City Echoes: Decoding Chicago’s Crime Patterns for a Safer Beirut Tomorrow

City Echoes: Decoding Chicago’s Crime Patterns for a Safer Beirut Tomorrow

Exposing Beirut’s Struggle with Insight from Chicago’s Urban Symphony

In the once-vibrant areas of Beirut, a city facing economic crisis, a quiet upsurge in crime, especially theft and robbery, casts a shadow. The challenge increases when important crime data is still confidentail, making it more difficult to understand the complex criminal environment in the city. Unflinching in the face of difficulty, our investigation draws inspiration from Chicago’s urban environment and aims to uncover the hidden strands that may lead to crime hotspots and relevant individuals in question. The study turns into a ray of hope, a data-driven compass pointing the path toward strengthening public safety in the face of Beirut’s difficulties.

Cracking the Nuanced Web of Beirut’s Increasing Crime Rates

As we delve deeper into our investigation of Beirut’s urban dynamics, the rise in crime rates becomes an interesting illustration of the city’s intricate issues. The social and economic fabric has been scarred by the turbulent aftermath of the Beirut port explosion and the widespread effects of COVID-19, which created opportunities for crime. The ongoing economic crisis, made worse by inflation and financial stress, drives people to extreme lengths. When there is political turmoil, those who take advantage of the situation and avoid responsibility exploit the confusion.

Connecting Chicago and Beirut through Shared Data Approaches to Reduce Crime

A promising possibility for the implementation of a comparable crime reduction plan is revealed by drawing comparisons between Chicago and Beirut. The Chicago Police and the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) possess similar datasets regarding crimes. The common data elements set the stage for replicating Chicago’s effective strategy in Beirut, including crime locations, kinds, and the critical differentiation between domestic and non-domestic occurrences.

Here’s to a Safer City

A strategic beacon appeals in the maze of urban issues, where the conflict of rising crime is increasingly complemented by the rhythm of city life. Imagine this: smart use of resources, keen observation of trends, and cooperative interaction with regional authorities. These are the cornerstones of our practical strategy to strengthen public safety:

– Allocating Resources in Hotspot Regions: Determine high-crime areas and use resources like police stations and security cameras strategically.
– Identification of Patterns: Find recurrent crime trends and stay alert of problems near certain hotspots, such as banks and jewelry stores.
– Follow daily and seasonal trends: Assign more officers on duty when crime is at its highest.
– Monitoring and Assessing Performance: Monitor crime rates both in terms of time and location. Perform analysis based on category and use unit performance as a benchmark for efficient research strategies.
Through the perceptive eye of data visualization, all the suggested strategies may be indicated and easily applied, providing a thorough and dynamic perspective on the dynamics of urban crime.

Decoding Traffic Accidents: A 2019 Snapshot from France

Decoding Traffic Accidents: A 2019 Snapshot from France

Car accidents remain a significant concern across the globe, negatively affecting many lives daily, which shows the need for continuous efforts in ensuring road safety. Annually, the toll of car accidents in France highlights a critical need for detailed analysis and proactive measures that would help tackle this issue and mitigate the risks that citizens, whether drivers, passengers, or pedestrians, face daily. France has 55% more deaths per inhabitant than Germany in 2019. Specifically, France experienced 52 deaths per million inhabitants due to traffic accidents, compared to Germany’s 34.


The proposed solutions will target an audience in charge such as government agencies related to transportation and safety sectors, road safety advocacy groups, and urban planners and infrastructure developers. Government agencies can leverage our findings to inform policy and safety measures. The urban planners and infrastructure developers will be provided with data-driven directions to design safer roads and intersections, focusing on the weak points of where accidents are most likely to occur. Lastly, road safety advocacy groups will be able to utilize our insights to focus on effectively enhancing their campaigns.


Geographic Patterns of Accidents in France:

This data paints a detailed picture of where accidents are most frequent within France. Certain regions, perhaps due to higher traffic volumes or challenging driving conditions, show elevated accident rates. This geographical analysis is pivotal in directing safety measures to where they are needed most.





Seasonal Trends:
Road safety is a critical issue that affects communities across France. In 2019, these incidents inflicted injuries and claimed lives which raised serious concerns about the factors contributing to their occurrence. From the severity of injuries sustained by different road users to the risks associated with specific driving maneuvers, the data displays a concerning picture. Moreover, the difference in outcomes for those wearing seatbelts and helmets versus those who do not bring to light the vital role of safety measures. This section will explore the problem of traffic accidents in France, using visual evidence to illustrate the scope and impact of this pressing issue.


We saw more car crashes in the summer, especially in June and July. This is probably because lots of people are traveling for their summer breaks, and there are many visitors who don’t know the roads well. Summer is also a time for big parties and festivals where people might drink alcohol, which can lead to more accidents. Roads get really busy, and sometimes safety rules are forgotten, which makes it more likely for accidents to happen.





Fatal Outcomes by Road User Type:


In 2019, the landscape of traffic accidents in France presented a cruel picture, particularly in terms of injury severity. As our visual analysis reveals, drivers constituted most of the affected individuals, accounting for 70% of deaths, while passengers and pedestrians accounted for 15%. The data indicates that drivers are most often killed underscoring the considerable risk associated with driving. Pedestrians, though fewer, face a considerable rate of serious rate of deaths and injuries per accident, due to the lack of protective barriers during accidents. This information underscores the need for robust safety measures and targeted interventions to protect all road users.





Weather Conditions:


It is well known that weather can have a major impact on road situations. It is something logical where accident occurrences are challenging to control, especially in extreme weather conditions. Since the majority of accidents happen in normal conditions (due to normal weather being more probable than other conditions) it is an advantage to us as we can control other conditions.




The Life-Saving Role of Safety Equipment:

The analysis starkly shows the difference safety equipment can make. In France, the use of seat belts and helmets is shown to drastically reduce the severity of injuries in accidents. This serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of wearing safety gear.


  • Seat Belts Save Lives: According to the World Health Organization, the use of safety belts by front-seat passengers reduces the risk of fatal injuries by 45 to 50 percent. For back-seat occupants, the risk of death and serious injuries is reduced by 25 percent. In France, since 1973, wearing seat belts in the front seat is mandatory. Compliance with this law varies between 60 to 90% depending on the road type. If seat belts were not worn by front seat occupants, there would be a 55% increase in fatalities. Conversely, if seat belts were consistently used by all occupants in a vehicle, fatalities could be reduced by an additional 30%.
  • Helmets for Bikers: Motorcycle helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries. Riders without helmets are more than three times as likely to suffer a brain injury compared to those who wear helmets.
  • Rules and Wearing Safety Gear:
    1. Police Enforcement: Police play a key role in ensuring compliance with safety gear regulations. Through traffic stops, checkpoints, and regular patrolling, they check if drivers and riders are wearing seat belts and helmets, as required by law. This enforcement encourages consistent use of safety gear.
    2. Awareness and Penalties: Alongside enforcement, awareness campaigns about the importance of safety gear and the penalties for non-compliance further encourage adherence to these rules. Understanding the life-saving benefits of seat belts and helmets motivates more people to use them.


Left vs. Right Hand Turns:

Left-hand turns appear to be particularly hazardous, leading to more accidents compared to right-hand turns. This finding could influence traffic management policies and the design of intersections to enhance driver safety.
  • Left Turns Are Riskier: In France, during 2019, car accidents often happened more during left-hand turns than right-hand turns. This is because left turns are usually trickier. Here’s why:
      1. More Traffic to Watch: When you turn left, you have to look out for cars coming both ways. This means you have to check more places before you turn.
      2. Harder to See: Sometimes it’s harder to see if it’s safe to turn left. Cars coming straight towards you can be hard to judge, especially if they’re moving fast.
      3. Crossing Paths: Turning left means crossing the path of oncoming cars. This is riskier than turning right, where you don’t cross traffic.
      4. Timing is Tough: You need good timing to turn left safely. If you turn too soon or too late, it can cause an accident.



To wrap this up, let us take a closer look at the lessons we learned from looking at car crashes in France for 2019. From what we’ve seen, it appears that doing some simple things can help keep us safe on the roads.


To begin with, seatbelts are amazing. They keep so many people from getting hurt if there’s a crash. It’s like having a superhero’s shield right in your car. And then there’s the weather. Driving can be difficult in the rain, snow, or even too much sun, which may result in accidents. We must be extra careful when the weather is bad.


We also observed that driving behavior, such as speeding or lack of focus, can have a significant impact. We all share the road, so we all need to drive like we care about the person in the next car or walking across the street.


Now, what do we do with all this? We talk about it, at school, at work, and at home. We make sure everyone knows how important it is to drive safely, wear seatbelts, and watch the road. We make sure the police are watching out for drivers who cause a risk to others, and we call on local communities to install improved streetlights and signage.


But there’s more we can do, too. We’ve got three big solutions:
  • Better Roads: We need roads that are easy to drive on, with clear signs and safe spots to walk and cross.
  • Stronger Traffic Laws: Rules that make sense and that everyone knows, ensuring that no one is speeding or messing around.
  • Awareness Campaigns: Let’s use entertaining and memorable methods to educate people about traffic safety.


Let’s make this report start a conversation that keeps going. Every time we get into a car or cross the street, let’s remember what we learned. If we all do our part, with better roads, clear rules, and good tips on staying safe, we can make our roads places where everyone gets to where they’re going, no trouble.


Team members: Mahmoud Jachi, Ali Korkomaz, Mehdi Atris, Taima Kelani, Hussein Dakroub, Mohamad Ayoub


Addressing Intentional Homicides in Jamaica: A Strategy Rooted in Health and Education

Addressing Intentional Homicides in Jamaica: A Strategy Rooted in Health and Education


by Charbel Hanna Daou (MSBA 24)


In the heart of the Caribbean, Jamaica faces a startling reality: its soaring intentional homicide rate is not just a statistic, but a looming shadow over the nation’s future. This crisis goes beyond mere numbers, threatening the very fabric of Jamaican society and shaking the pillars of stability and safety that its citizens rely on. It’s a call to action, demanding not just attention, but a deep dive into the root causes and a strategic battle plan to turn the tide against this wave of violence. The urgency to address and mitigate this issue couldn’t be more pressing, as the fate of Jamaica’s well-being hangs in the balance.



Delving into the Crisis


The alarming rise in Jamaica’s homicide rates over the past two decades is a cause for serious concern. The data shows an increase to 52.1 homicides per 100,000 people by 2021, a figure that not only stands out in the Caribbean region but also ranks highest on a global scale. This disturbing trend is indicative of deeper societal and systemic issues that need to be addressed with urgency and precision.



Strategic Approaches Aligned with SDGs


In response to this escalating crisis, two potential strategic solutions, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), present themselves as viable pathways to combat the high homicide rates:

  1. Increasing Government Health Expenditure (Aligned with SDG 3): This strategy focuses on the crucial role of health in society. By boosting government spending on health care, particularly in areas like mental health services and addiction treatment, Jamaica could tackle some of the underlying factors contributing to the high rate of homicides. The premise here is that better access to health services, including mental health care, can play a significant role in preventing violence and crime.
  2. Extending the Duration of Compulsory Education (Aligned with SDG 4): Education is a powerful tool for social change. By increasing the years of compulsory education, Jamaica could address several root causes of crime, including poverty and inequality. Education not only equips individuals with knowledge and skills but also opens up opportunities, promoting social mobility and reducing the likelihood of individuals engaging in criminal activities.



Learning from Global Experiences


The experiences of the Russian Federation and Colombia provide valuable lessons. Both countries have demonstrated a correlation between enhanced health expenditures, extended compulsory education, and a decrease in intentional homicides. In contrast, Jamaica’s relatively stagnant approach in these areas might be contributing to its high homicide rates. This comparison suggests that adopting similar strategies could yield positive results in Jamaica.



Government of Jamaica, Here’s What You Should Do


Given the evidence and the success of similar strategies in other countries, the following recommendations are proposed for Jamaica:

  1. Increase Health Expenditure: A substantial increase in health expenditure per capita, specifically by a minimum of $100, could significantly improve the quality and accessibility of health services. This step would not only address immediate health concerns but also contribute to the long-term goal of reducing violence and crime.
  2. Reform Education Policies: Strengthening and reforming education policies to extend the duration of compulsory education to at least 12 years is crucial. This change would have far-reaching effects, not only in educating the populace but also in providing them with better opportunities and reducing the likelihood of them resorting to crime.



In the face of its daunting homicide rates, Jamaica stands at a crucial crossroads. The journey ahead is challenging, but it’s also filled with opportunity. By adopting innovative strategies like increasing health expenditure and extending compulsory education, Jamaica isn’t just fighting crime; it’s reinventing its future. This bold move towards enhancing healthcare and education could be the key to unlocking a new era of peace and stability. Imagine a Jamaica where every citizen is empowered by knowledge and supported by a robust healthcare system. That’s the vision—a safer, stronger Jamaica, thriving in harmony and moving confidently towards a brighter tomorrow.