Crime Mapping

In line with Margaret Leland Smith

about Crime in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to law enforcement problems is called crime mapping. The availability of personal desktop computers and GIS software in the 1990s allowed law enforcement agencies to produce digital versions of the pin maps that had been used for decades. The use of maps to visualize and understand the geographic distribution of crime events is a well-established police practice. Although the placement of colored pins on an area map could display a snapshot of a crime problem in a single time period, the digital maps produced with GIS software produced immediate and substantial gains in descriptive and analytic power. As GIS technology became more accessible, it sparked new interest in the analysis of “crime and place” from both academic researchers and police department crime analysts. GIS software readily allows a user to link crime data files to map files and to display the information jointly.

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