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This project will be examining crime incidents and how they relate to other factors, such as street lighting, housing density, alcohol permits and other factors. 

We have several blog articles related to this project, both with a lot of example maps: 

Project Structure

The goals of this project is to give a borad range of people experience with data analysis and a deeper understanding of civic issues. Over the course of the project we will be:

  • Using Statistical tools and programming to explore crime data sets, combined with other civic data such as street lights, land use, traffic and homelessness. 
  • Teaching people basic statistical and data analysis techniques
  • Conducting classes and presentations for community members to present the analysis and teach them to use GIS software to explore their neighborhoods. 

The project will involve volunteers with a range of skills, including:

  • Statistics
  • Programming
  • Data cleaning and preparation
  • GIS
  • Training on GIS software. 



These are specific projects that we are working on:

  • Mine the neighborhood social network for reports of suspicious activity and link to  crime incidents.

  • Safe routes to school. Use demographics, crime, street lights and the road network to assess safety of route between homes and schools.

Other Topics to Explore

  • Categorize high crime areas. 
  • Look for patterns related to time and date. 
  • Relationship of crime incidents to liquor licenses. 
  • Relationship of crime incidents to demographics.
  • Relationship of crime incidents to traffic flow.
  • Relationship of crime incidents to infrastructure. 
  • Relationship of crime incidents to business types and land use. 

Project ideas

  • Scrape yelp for reviews and mine the text to assess the demographics of the people who frequent businesses. Then, connect those demographics to business areas. This would allow for assessing the demographics of people who visit bars and restaurants.
  • Text mine the neighborhood social network to link reports of magazine vendors or  suspicious activity to  upticks in crime rates. (star) Use social network reports to predict crime.


Excellent collection of research papers:

Crime Analysis

Local chapter of San Diego Crime and Intelligence Analysts Association.

Street lights and Crime

A Meta study:

Another summary, primarily arguing that street lights don't reduce crime:



Notes from the planning phone calls






Areas of high property (blue)  and violent (red) crime.

Links and Resources

Mailing List

Join the mailing lists for announcements and discussions

Meetup Groups


Common tools for this project include: 


Data extracts are being uploaded into our data repository.


Visit the Crime Image Gallery for images from the analysis project


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