HMV store closures mapped

I cover independent record shops over at Independent Everything, so when HMV went into administration it was important news. I set up a Google Alert for HMV at the time. Since then I’ve had a steady stream of reports that HMV shops are to be saved or closed, often on the same local news site a few weeks apart, as the uncertainty lingered.

I had a look and a month ago, a full list of HMV shops to be shut was published, but no one had thought to map them. I’ve mapped them across the UK here:

All the HMV stores closing in the UK. Image: Rob Grant
All the HMV stores closing in the UK. Image: Rob Grant

East Anglia seems to have escaped unharmed. The rest seem fairly evenly spread across the UK’s major population centres.

Annoyingly WordPress doesn’t seem to recognise the Google Fusion table iFrame code when you embed it. The best I could do is take a screenshot of it here. If you want the full interactive version (you do, I spent ages tracking down all the local news stories about each store closing), head to the link here.

If anyone knows of a workaround for embedding Fusion tables into WordPress, please let me know!

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How to draw your own Fusion table maps

Google Fusion tables are an excellent way to map data. They give you a means to create intensity maps showing any statistics you care to mention that vary regionally, such as crime, unemployment or age. Google Maps recognises a type of file called a KML file. To Google KML files are just sets of coordinates that make up a shape, but to us they can mark out London from the rest of the UK, wards in Bristol or the entire world’s borders.

Simon Rogers (a City visiting lecturer) has a handy bank of KML files, but if you can’t find the perfect one that suits your needs the answer might be to create it yourself. This post builds on Dane Watkins’s post here. For this example, we’re going to create a KML file of wards in Bristol (you’ll need a Google account for this). Continue reading “How to draw your own Fusion table maps”

Google Fusion tables – putting data together

I was lucky enough to spend two weeks at the Guardian Datablog over Christmas, where I got to grips with Google Fusion tables.

The beauty of Fusion tables are that you can add multiple spreadsheets together to make a single table, which you can then download as a spreadsheet. This is particularly useful for compiling data that is released over time such as, say, detail on spending that is released monthly by councils or government departments. Continue reading “Google Fusion tables – putting data together”