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US University uses GIS to study urban neighborhood crime

US: Researchers at Kent State University received a $474,000 US Department of Justice grant to study urban neighborhood crime in Northeast Ohio over the next two-and-a-half years, using GIS. The researchers will focus on what makes a particular place a likely crime hotspot, based on interviews with law enforcement officers, neighborhood residents and community leaders and, in a novel approach, even ex-offenders who are familiar with the neighborhood.

Their study will combine the interviews with GIS mapping and videos. Some of those people will ride along with the researchers on Google car-style video mapping tours of neighborhoods, adding their street-wise views to the mapping data. “The researchers expect to be able to analyse an area's crime potential at the micro-level, finding answers to why a particular block, corner or alleyway is likely to be a crime hotspot,” said a spokesperson from the university. Andrew Curtis, PhD associate professor of geography, Kent State University, will lead the GIS mapping and video portions of the project.

Source: Crains Cleveland