Article

The Mapping and Spatial Analysis of Crime

Shannon Reid and George Tita

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online June 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0123
The Mapping and Spatial Analysis of Crime

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The mapping and spatial analysis of crime covers a broad range of techniques and has been used to explore a variety of topics. In its most basic form, crime mapping is the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) to visualize and organize spatial data for more formal statistical analysis. Spatial analysis can be employed in both an exploratory and well as a more confirmatory manner with the primary purpose of identifying how certain community or ecological factors (such as population characteristics or the built environment) influence the spatial patterns of crime. Two topics of particular interest include examining for evidence of the diffusion of crime and in evaluating the effectiveness of geographically targeted crime reduction strategies. Crime mapping can also be used to visualize and analyze the movement or target selection patterns of criminals. Mapping software allows for the creation of electronic pin-maps and by spatially organizing the data, GIS increases the analytical value of these maps. Crime mapping allows researchers and practitioners to explore crime patterns, offender mobility, and serial offenses over time and space. Within the context of local policing, crime mapping provides the visualization of crime clusters by types of crimes, thereby validating the street knowledge of patrol officers. Crime mapping can be used for allocating resources (patrol, specialized enforcement) and also to inform how the concerns of local citizens are being addressed. The citations listed below highlight the interdisciplinary nature of both the study of crime and the development of the methods used in spatial analysis. They exemplify the growing prominence that spatial analysis has in understanding where crime occurs.

Article.  7325 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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