GeoCarta Has Moved

Aug 26, 2005

Taking A Byte Out Of Crime

We are all familiar with using maps for getting from Point A to Point B, or determining the size and shape of land features and property. But a story from Oregon shows how maps are being used to help solve, "real-world" problems such as crime. Oregon State University and U.S. Forest Service researchers are using crime reports, plotted on maps to research crime in the northwest's public forests, including the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Eventually the researchers hope to assist in directing increased law towards areas of high crime.

While this project is aimed at forests in the northwest, it is appicable to urban areas as well. Criminals are creatures of habit. Linking crime reports to maps via Geographic Information Systems technology can allow law enforcement to see where crimes are taking place as well as when. Armed with this knowledge, they can increase patrols in these crime-prone areas.

Complete article from Albany Democrat-Herald