Aug. 9, 2011 at 12:07 PM ET
Whether you're living in the UK and trying to steer clear of the rioting or living far off and trying to keep track of what's happening where, several interactive online maps are now offering a satellite-eye view of the violence, chaos and clean-up efforts.
James Cridland, managing director of free media resource MediaUK.com, started the overhead tracking effort by creating this Google map collecting all of the verified locations where rioting and looting was taking place.
He is no longer updating that map, but UK newspaper The Guardian has picked up the effort with a map of its own tracking every incident that can be verified. The map — pock-marked with dozens of rioting points — offers a bleak-if-somewhat-detached view of just how widespread the destruction has been.
Red dots are newer incidents while white dots mark older events. Click on the dots and you get a brief description of what's happening on the ground.
Maidstone Road Chatham, Medway
What happened? Cars set on fire
Ripple Road, Barking
What happened? A building fire caused the road to close
What happened? A small group of young men decided to kick down the door of a Halfords store, in full view of the busy South Circular road, crowds and stopped cars
Warrington Road, Croydon junction with Dupass Hill, Croydon
What happened? A 26-year old man was found by police with gun shot wounds in Warrington Road, Croydon junction with Dupass Hill. The man was inside a car when police found him. He later died in hospital. Two men believed to be at the scene were arrested for handling stolen goods
Channel 4 News in the UK has a similar map — one that is keeping track of rioting incidents over time. Move a slider bar to see how and where the destruction has spread during the past few days. Check it out here.
Meanwhile, Hannah Waldram, community coordinator at The Guardian, has created this Google map tracking geolocated tweets coming from London and using the hashtag #londonriots. (For more on that check out this Journalism.co.uk article.)
For something a little closer to the ground, The Guardian has created an interactive map that reveals a street-level, citizen's view of the destruction and clean-up. The newspaper is encouraging people to send in their own geotagged photos, which are collected on this map.
Trashed streets, looted stores, buildings on fire, teams of people trying to clean up the mess — for those of us living far away this is perhaps as close as we can get to seeing the riots through the eyes of those living through them.
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Winda Benedetti writes about video games and other techie things for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+.And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page right here.