Extension of Software Life: Crime Mapping System

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police uses the MapStats crime plotting system to analyze trends in criminal activity and deploy its resources effectively. MapStats utilizes the ArcSDE component of ESRI’s ArcIMS GIS environment. Crime data comes from the Oracle database of the Automated Police Reporting System (APRS).

Most of the City’s police activities are organized and administered through geographical zones made up of a number of contiguous neighborhoods. As originally written, the zone boundaries were built into the application. When the boundaries changed, code revisions were required.

B–Three developed and implemented an input–driven Redistricting Tool that can be utilized to reconfigure and maintain the zone structure in MapStats. With this utility, the City’s system administrator can make any necessary revisions to the zone structure used by MapStats without program modifications.

This modification significantly improved the City’s ability to adapt the software to changes in geographical zone boundaries.