Last year, the City of New York defined legislation that requires the creation of a map of the crime that the public can use to obtain information about safety on city streets. Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) in collaboration with the New York Police Department (NYPD) to create an interactive visualization of crime trends in the city. Today we heard from Colin Reilly, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) of DoITT Unit Director, who led the team that developed the map.
For the bustling city of more than eight million people, the city of New York has the lowest crime rate – is the safest big city in the country. However, that has not stopped the government is always looking for new ways to maintain public safety.
Last year, the city passed a law that requires the Department of Information Technology (DoITT) to create an interactive map of crime. The ability to visualize criminal incident empower people to make informed decisions about their safety. In addition, the publication of data in such a public and easily make every police more accountable for crimes in your area.
With this goal in mind, we have been working with the NYPD to release the City of New York Crime Map. We use Google Maps Engine for coating certain information about criminal incidents – including serious crimes such as murder, rape and robbery – on a Google map. New York now has the tools at their disposal to quickly assess the security of your environment through the familiar Google Map interface. People who are planning to move to find a certain direction before you move. Environmental and community organizations use the map to see a pattern over a period of time to understand, for example, crime has increased in the area of the new nightclub.
The default view of the map allows you to zoom in and out quickly to see the crime rate of a particular area. Look for crimes by type and date range. We also added a color-coded heat map crime incidents per 1,000 populations, which makes it easy to compare the concentration of crime by the police or location. Previously, the police department recorded raw data – such as the list of offenses, date and address on a website. The new interface allows intuitive map display these statistics by geographic area, type and date, making it easier to read and more useful, especially for the citizens of New York.
Before starting the project evaluated several open source tools, but we chose the Google Maps for Business, and has allowed us to develop a map quickly without GIS expertise. Google hosts all the data in the cloud, allowing us to focus on our core mission – to develop innovative technology solutions for the city of New York. Thanks to Google Maps, NYC Crime Map can handle large volumes of traffic – a third of which comes from a mobile device – that we cannot succeed on our own.
The NYC Crime Map is part of a campaign across the largest to be more transparent and accountable to the public city. With the friendly interface, the city of New York Crime Map provides policy makers and the public they serve a clearer view of the security environment in the five districts provided.