What Vancouver Complains About: 12,1360 311 Phone Calls

Did you know that anyone in Vancouver can dial 311 and a friendly operator will provide you with virtually any kind of information or file a work-order and send it to the appropriate City department? This is a wonderful service, but I was curious why people have called and if there were any surprising spatial patterns in the data.

I began by downloading an open data file from for August 2013 that contains about 12,1360 calls. I then created a proper address based on the location fields provided (block ranges and intersection pairs that were a real pain to clean up) Also, there are no meaningful categories in the source data, so I created a custom set of 14 categories based on the city department involved and the information provided in the comment field for each record. My initial map with about 12,000 points is below, you may click on each point to see what the icons represent:

I also decided to focus on illegal street dumping to see if there were any interesting spatial patterns. there were a total of 1,038 reports in a single month, which alone is amazing! Also it turns out there were three distinct clusters as shown in the screenshot below:

Also, here is the full map of dumping locations - you can also click here to view the actual Google Fusion Tables dataset where you can filter the results and create density maps: