One month of illustreets

At illustreets, we are celebrating a month of existence. And what a month it was… We are literally overwhelmed by all the positive feedback received via social channels such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as directly by email. About the latter, considering that the first incarnation of our web app didn’t even have a contact page, we have to thank to those who have been determined enough to chase our details online and write an email.

We also owe a big ‘thank you’ to all the Open Data aficionados, mapping professionals, journalists, bloggers, and all the enthusiastic users who have spread the word on Twitter. Being compared to UpMyStreet at some point was a huge compliment, and I’m not entirely sure whether we deserve it – definitely not so early – but we take it with both hands and promise to try to fill as much as we can of these otherwise huge boots.

We thought that the best way in which we can celebrate our first month is to release an update, and also add some more functionality to illustreets. As such, we improved the loading time and the speed of the explorer, implemented auto completion for location search, fixed some bugs (if you spot any of these in the wild please let us know), and integrated this blog.

Speaking of the blog, there are a few interesting bits about it. First of all, is the Maps and Apps category, where we are going to publish experiments that have yet to make it fully into our main app. At the moment, we have published an interactive crime map of England, showing the aggregated annual crime data for all the census neighbourhoods in England, broken down by category. It’s a fuller visualisation of annual crime rates compared to what we have implemented in the main app – in this case we have not one, but 12 crime layers.

Secondly, is the Places reviewed. This is a section where we want to give a voice to everyone willing to write about the area in which they live. We are firmly convinced that open data is amazing, but it cannot tell the whole story of a place, no matter how much of it we have. So, whether you are happy or not with how your area appears on our map, and if you have something to say about it, please send us a letter and we will make sure that it gets published both on the map and the blog.

Last but not least, is the Property news section, where we aim to publish weekly digests of news relevant to those looking to buy or rent property, with a particular focus on matters that affect the property location (such as the controversy surrounding fracking).

Thanks everyone, and happy exploring!

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Manuel Timita

Co-Founder and Lead Designer at illustreets
Manuel is a UX designer, developer, mapping enthusiast, and part-time Open University student. He loves his girlfriend, England, most Asian and European cuisines, JavaScript, cats, French authors, alternative music, The Witcher, red wine, and The Matrix. Runs on coffee by the gallon and Garibaldi biscuits.

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