Where Not to Eat in London
Stay away from E13!
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
Most tourist guides offer advice on where to eat. This map of London shows you where not to.
The map shows Central London postcodes, colour-coded for average food hygiene ratings. A band of worst-rated areas (in red) traverses the city from NW10 in the west to E6 in the east. There is a smaller cluster of four 'red' postcodes in south London (SE5, SE15, SE17 and SW9), plus two more isolates in the south, and one in the north.
'Red' areas generally are surrounded by postcodes coloured dark and light orange, each for a slightly better food standards category. The best food safety postcodes (dark green) also tend to cluster, and are also generally flanked by the adjacent category (light green). Only very rarely do the best and worst food categories touch (as happens in the case of dark-green E20, bordering dark-red E9 and E15).
The Food Safety Map of London Postcodes is the work of data scientist Mark Dunne, who writes on his website about the genesis of the project: “While recovering from a dodgy curry in London, I decided I wanted to look deeper into food standards across the city”.
Dunne scraped data published online by the British government's Food Standards Agency, obtaining food ratings (one to five stars) for 515,748 locations across the entire UK, as well as their name, longitude and latitude, and postcode.
Cleaning up the data, Dunne encountered some bizarre data fails. Most of the locations in Northumberland – about 60,000 – had no ratings attached. And the manually entered data contained over 100 different spellings of McDonald's.
A more reassuring result: most of the 431,758 locations throughout the UK for which good data was available, had a five-star rating. These included many of the restaurant chains. The aforementioned Mickey D's, but also Burger King and Subway all had perfect 5 out of 5 ratings. Notable exception: KFC, “falling quite a bit below the national average. In fact, KFC was among the lowest of even its cheaper fried chicken competitors”.
“The next stat really surprised me”, writes Dunne “I would have thought that food hygiene in the capital would have been held to a higher standard than elsewhere in the country, but the opposite is true”.
In fact, out of 16 major cities in the UK, Glasgow has by far the best average food hygiene rating (>4.8), while London (+/- 4.1) is well below the national average (>4.4) and battling Leicester for last place.
His statistically grounded advice on eating out in London: “Next to the river, you're pretty safe. But enter the band to the north, or that localised pocket to the south, and you're straying into unknown territory”.
The map also indicates the postcode with the absolute worst average rating: E13, in the east of London. If you have a sensitive stomach and are wondering which area to avoid: here is a map of E13.
Strange Maps #855
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.
- The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
- The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
- Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.