Crime as Elevation

What if crime were depicted as elevation? In San Francisco, prostitution would look like two enormous peaks on one side of the city. Doug McCune is the creator of the fascinating 3-D maps of San Francisco crime. In addition to prostitution, he’s mapped larceny, narcotics, assault, vandalism, warrants, vehicle theft, and robbery. McCune cautions that “this is meant more as an art piece than an informative visualization,” but still it’s a pretty interesting way to visualize crime. (HT: Nikhil Patel)[%comments]

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  1. DaveyNC says:

    You’re welcome!

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  2. frankenduf says:

    aptonym alert- there is a mt loin which divides the prostitution zone!?

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  3. Phil says:

    Just like Sim City!

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  4. KevinC says:

    “In San Francisco, prostitution would look like two enormous peaks” My inner-12 year old is laughing at that one

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  5. Joshua Northey says:

    This has been in the offing for a long time.

    For at least a decade I have thought 3D demographic gradients for MSP area would be fascinating. So much delta in some places. Some of the nicest neighborhoods in the state are in places 4 or 5 blocks from some pretty rough areas.

    Even with just the traditional heat map approach you can see the major roadways, liquor stores and other landmarks clearly in the education level of homeowners, property values, etc.

    Not exactly sure why large cities don’t invest a bit more in GIS. I am just a dabbler and even i could do 100 times better than most city of st. Paul maps. They are mostly useless (many of them fail to control for anything). What good is it to know how many residential burglaries were in some area without normalizing for number of residences et cetera…

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  6. hal says:

    Interesting as it may be, it does not seem to differentiate between police arrest crimes (prostitution) and citizen report crimes (larceny). The police arrests may be significantly higher in areas where the police administration concentrates police resources (and the “crimes” are obvious) – which may not be where even larger numbers of that crime are occurring.

    Elliot Spitzer was certainly not going to the area of Washington DC where prostitution arrests were highest (and by implication, easiest).

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