InfoTech Europe Map the Shipman Murders for the BBC

InfoTech Europe Map the Shipman Murders for the BBC

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Aug 19, 2002 – BBC has contracted InfoTech Enterprises Europe and its team of specialists to work on the controversial documentary “Measuring Evil”, which catalogued the life and crimes of Dr. Harold Shipman.

Britain’s most notorious serial killer, Shipman was responsible for the murder of 215 of his patients and has been linked with another 83 suspicious deaths. In total the Shipman Inquiry, which presented its findings in the middle of July, investigated over 500 cases involving the Manchester based physician.

To coincide with the publication of the findings of this investigation, the BBC aired a documentary on Friday 19th July, which aimed to chart Shipman’s crimes and the impact that he had on the community in the town of Hyde. The editor and director of the documentary, Kim Duke, wanted to visualise the scale of Shipman’s crimes through mapping, whereby “points would appear over a map, as a kind of measling effect, showing how Shipman’s crimes appeared to escalate before he was caught”.

In order to fulfil their vision of creating such animations and as a result of InfoTech Europe’s unrivalled knowledge and experience in the field of crime mapping, the BBC employed the abilities of InfoTech Europe’s crime and disorder analysis team.

The BBC wished to create three animated maps that illustrated events such as the unlawful killings that occurred in the Manchester area between 1978 and 1998. It also wanted to use aerial photography within these illustrations in order to blend in with the helicopter shots of Hyde used throughout the documentary and to assist in giving the illustrations a heightened sense of realism.

InfoTech Europe was asked to source this photography, to prepare the case data for mapping and be on site at BBC TV Centre on the final day of the inquiry to prepare the final maps and animations for that night’s screening of the documentary.

The aerial imagery used within the documentary was sourced from Getmapping.com, owners of the most comprehensive and detailed aerial photo survey of the UK, the Millennium MapTM. Getmapping came forward with imagery of excellent resolution and quality and was able to deliver the data in an easy to use format and to the tight deadlines required.

Whilst this high profile case was something of a one off, similar techniques and practices have been put to use by InfoTech Europe in its work for other clients including the Home Office and US department of Justice. Examples of this work, along with details of InfoTech Europe’s full range of crime and disorder analysis capabilities can be found by by visiting https://www.crime-mapping.com/