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Best Practices Crime Mapping Manual

This Best Practices Crime Mapping Manual is designed for the criminal justice and law enforcement community in Maryland. A variety of mapping materials are available-several focus on mapping in small and medium sized police departments; some are targeted on rural mapping. Others discuss technical mapping issues such as geocoding accuracy.

Applications of Mapping

Malm, Aili E., Kinney, J. Bryan, & Pollard, Nahanni R. (2008). Social Network and Distance Correlates of Criminal Associates Involved in Illicit Drug Production. Security Journal, Vol. 21, p. 77-94.

Ratcliffe, Jerry H. & Rengert, George F. (2008). Near-Repeat Patterns in Philadelphia Shootings. Security Journal, Vol. 21, p58-76.

Rossmo, D. Kim, Thurman, Quint C., Jamieson, J.D., & Egan, Kristine. (2008). Geographic Patterns and Profiling of Illegal Crossings of the Southern U.S. Border. Security Journal, Vol. 21, p. 29-57.

Smith, Martha J. (2008). Addressing the Security Needs of Women Passengers on Public Transport. Security Journal, Vol. 21, p. 117-133.

Johnson, Shane D., Birks, Daniel J., McLaughlin, Lindsay, Bowers, Kate J., & Pease Ken. (2007). Prospective Crime Mapping in Operational Context, Final Report. Home Office Online Report.

Schultz, Chief Paul. (2007). Crime Mapping Used as Effective Crime Prevention Tool. Big Ideas for Smaller Police Departments, p. 1-3.

Groff, E. & McEwen, T. (2006). Exploring the Spatial Configuration of Places Related to Homicide Events. National Institute of Justice.

Weisel, D. Smith, W, Garson, G, Pavlichev, A, & Wattrell, J. (2006). Motor Vehicle Theft: Crime and Spatial Analysis of a Non-Urban Region. Special Report, Washington D.C: National Institute of Justice.

Bhati, A. (2004). Robust Spatial Analysis of Rare Crimes, Final Report. Mapping and Analysis for Public Safety Program, National Institute of Justice.

Anselin, L., Cohen, J., Cook, D., Gorr, W., & Tita, G. (2000). Measurement and Analysis of Crime and Justice: Spatial Analyses of Crime. Criminal Justice 2000, Vol. 4. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, pp. 213-262.

Defensible Space

Malleson, N., A. Evans, et al. (2009). An agent-based model of burglary. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 36(6): 1103-1123.


Zandbergen, Paul A., & Green, Joseph W. (2007). Error and Bias in Determining Exposure Potential of Children at School Locations using Proximity-Based GIS Techniques. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 115, p. 1363-1370.

Leipnik, Dr. Mark R. & Lorca, Jennifer R. (2005). Addressing and Geocoding of Demographic Data on a Global Basis. ESRI Training and Education Library.

Nicoara, Greta. (2005). Exploring the Geocoding Process: A Municipal Case Study using Crime Data. The University of Texas at Dallas.

Whitsel, Eric A., Rose, Kathryn M., Wood, Joy L., Henley, Amanda C., Liao, Duanping, & Heiss, Gerardo. (2004). Accuracy and Repeatability of Commercial Geocoding. American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 160, p. 1023-1029.

Cayo, Michael R. & Talbot, Thomas O. (2003). Positional Error in Automated Geocoding of Residential Addresses. International Journal of Health Geographics, Vol. 2.

Mills, Jack. Tain�t Necessarily So: Address Geocoding in the Real World.


Grubesic, T. H. (2010). Sex offender clusters. Applied Geography 30(1): 2-18.

Maciejewski, R., S. Rudolph, et al. (2010). A Visual Analytics Approach to Understanding Spatiotemporal Hotspots. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on 16(2): 205-220.

Filbert, Katie. (2008) Targeting Crime in Hot Spots and Hot Places. Geography & Public Safety, Vol. 1, 4-7.

Chainey, Spencer, Tompson, Lisa, & Uhlig, Sebastian. (2008). The Utility of Hotspot Mapping for Predicting Spatial Patterns of Crime. Security Journal, Vol. 21, p. 4-28.

Eck, John E., Chainey, Spencer, Cameron, James G., Leitner, Michael, & Wilson, Ronald E. (2005). Mapping Crime: Understanding Hot Spots. NIJ, Special Report. Washington D.C.: National Institute of Justice.

Background Information

Chamard, S. (2006). The History of Crime Mapping and Its Use by American Police Departments. Alaska Justice Forum.

Implementing & Using a Mapping Program (General)

Mielke, Philip. (2008). Using ModelBuilder for Geographic Information System Tasks. Geography & Public Safety, Vol. 1, 8-10.

Burnett, Ed. (2007). Crime Analysis Reporting and Mapping for Small Agencies: A Low-Cost and Simplified Approach. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Vol. 76, p. 15-22.

Bichler, G, Balchak, S., & Christie, J. (2004). Address Matching Bias: Ignorance is not Bliss. Presented at the 12th International Symposium of Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis. (July 1-42004). New Zealand.

Stoe, Debra A., Watkins, Carol R., Kerr, Jeffrey, Rost, Linda, & Craig, Theodosia. (2003). Using Geographic Information Systems to Map Crime Victim Services. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime.

Travis, Lawrence F., III, & Hughes, Col. Kenneth D. (2002). Mapping in Police Agencies: Beyond this Point There by Monsters. Overcoming the Barriers: Crime Mapping in the 21st Century. Washington D.C.: Police Foundation.

Garson, G.D., & Vann, I.B. (2001). Geographic Information Systems for Small and Medium Law Enforcement Jurisdictions. Raleigh, North Carolina: Governor�s Crime Commission.

Boba, R. (2000). Guidelines to Implement and Evaluate Crime Analysis and Mapping in Law Enforcement Agencies. Washington D.C.: Police Foundation.

Summary: Crime analysis and mapping are becoming more common in law enforcement agencies, but agencies struggle with how they should implement and evaluate them. Oftentimes, a new individual is hired or an officer is reassigned and told to "implement crime analysis and/or mapping," yet given little direction. The purpose of this document is to provide an outline of the implementation and evaluation processes as a starting point to gather information to complete these tasks. The content of the information and how it is used to implement and evaluate crime analysis and mapping will vary by agency since each agency exists in its own unique combination of political, demographic, and organizational characteristics.


Harries, K. (1999). Mapping Crime: Principle and Practice. Washington D.C.: National Institute of Justice.

Sharing Data Across Jurisdictions

Eck, John E. (2002). Crossing the Borders of Crime: Factors Influencing the Utility and Practicality of Interjurisdictional Crime Mapping. Overcoming the Barriers: Crime Mapping in the 21st Century, Washington, D.C.: Police Foundation.

Wartrell, J. & McEwen, Thomas. (2001). Privacy in the Information Age: A Guide for Sharing Crime Maps and Spatial Data. Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.

Crime Mapping News, Vol. 2, Issue 3, Summer 2000.

Helpful Links

Examples of Police Departments that Use Crime Mapping