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slides: 10 Ways of Looking at Worcester

Monday, August 19, 2013

 

Think you know Worcester? Think you know what Worcester looks like? A set of statistical maps created by Trulia, the online real estate platform, combine public data bases (as well as its own real estate data) to show us patterns in the city that may not be immediately apparent to the naked eye.

Where, for example, are the cities most recent crimes occuring, and in what kinds of numbers? Where are the areas most likely to flood? What's the most recent average home price sale, from neighborhood to neighborhood.

See our city through 10 new sets of maps, below.

 

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Violent crime

Trulia combines recent crime data with overall crime rates to produce an intriguing look at Worcester crime from a bird's eye view.

The numbers in black circles represent violent crimes by area since May 2013. The colors give a picture of overall violent crime rate among Worcester's streets and blocks.

To see what crimes occured at each of these numbered locations, see the interactive map, here.

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Non-violent crime

This view of Worcester's non-violent crime incidents and rates follows the same legend: numbers in black circles represent non-violent crimes by area/location since May 2013. The colors give a picture of overall non-violent crime rates among Worcester's streets and blocks.

To see what crimes occured at each of these numbered locations, see the interactive map, here.

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Flood zones

What parts of Worcester are statistically prone to flooding? The darkest blue on this map reveals a statistic 100-year high-risk flood area, according to FEMA's Flood Insurance Study, which includes statistical data for river flow, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, and rainfall and topographic surveys.

Own a home in any of these areas? In high risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. In moderate risk areas, the risk of being flooded is reduced but not completely removed. These areas submit over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding.

To see a larger and interactive version of this map, go here.

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Tornado risk

Tornadoes remain a dramatic and painful aspect of Worcester and Central Massachusetts history, and this map describes the relative risk of tornado activity in Worcester County.

This Historical Tornado map shows the accumulated energy for each hexagonal grid cell between 1950 - 2011. This layer was created using a technique called "hexagonal binning", which has been an increasingly popular way to visualize large sets of data. In this case, each hexagonal bin was given a color according to the accumulated energy of tornadoes that passed through each grid cell between 1950 and 2011. The wind energy values utilized in the formula were derived from the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The light-colored bands are marks of historic tornado paths--in this case, from July, the month with the highest incidence of tornado paths in the region.

To see a larger and interactive version of this map, go here.

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Earthquakes

Live north of Worcester in Central Massachusetts? Your earthquake intensity risk is higher than if you live south of Worcester, according to data from this map showing seismic hazard, or ground shaking potential, in the region.

An area's shaking potential is calculated considering historic earthquakes, slip rates on major faults and deformation throughout the region, and the potential for amplification of seismic waves by near-surface geologic materials.

To see a larger and interactive version of this map, go here.

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Wildfires

While wildfires may not be the first natural disaster that comes to mind when thinking of Worcester, the data reinforces that the city's wildfire rates and risk are the statistically lowest.

A zoomed out version in this map reveals very small pockets of the next highest level of wildfire risk in Central Massachusetts overall, between Hopkinton and Ashland, near Berlin, and southwest of Northbridge.

To see a larger and interactive version of this map, go here.

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Home values

Utlizing home values from its own database, Trulia captures average values ranging from the lightest blue color at $134K or under, up to the darkest blue at $311K and above.

To see the interactive version of this map, go here.

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Property asking prices

Average asking price: $195,204

Trulia captures the average asking price of 25 properties currently on the market in Worcester on this map, as well as showing the exact location of each property for sale and its current price.

To see the interactive version of this map, go here.

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House sale prices

Average sale price: $173,364

What have properties been selling for lately in Worcester, and where have they been selling? The map reveals 25 recently sold properties shown with their final sale prices. 

To see the interactive version of this map, go here.

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Rental prices

Trulia's map is based upon its rentals over the last year and updates monthly. The map makes it easier to visual the economic geography of Worcester's neighborhoods. The prices expressed on the map are of average rental prices per bedroom, as assessed per neighborhood.

To see the interactive version of this map, go here.

 
 

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