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San Francisco introduces new crime mapping technology

The City and County of San Francisco recently presented a preview of the new CrimeMAPS (mapping analysis for public safety) technology at the third annual Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Day at City Hall, with appearances by Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., Police Chief Alex Fagan and other city officials.

The goal of the new IT system is to transform the way police track and uncover crime patterns. CrimeMAPS merges the City’s massive databases of electronic location information with existing crime report databases to create a visual representation of crime on an electronic map. Specially trained officers and analysts will view crime occurrences and generate reports through customized queries based on period of time, type of crime, neighborhood, distance from schools or parks, and a myriad of other search factors.

The information can then be used to determine trends, re-direct resources, and plan for events. Data is updated every evening to ensure the most accurate information is available. The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) plans to implement the new system internally over the next few months.

CrimeMAPS was developed by The Department of Telecommunications and Information Systems, under the direction and leadership of the SFPD and Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The system uses a highly secure, robust GIS infrastructure, based on technology solutions from IBM, ESRI, and others.