Few comments and reader submissions on the recent BuffaloCrime.org post. Wasn't ment to coincide with the Buffalo News story about City residents thinking that Buffalo Police are being out-gunned. Coincidence. Just did.
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The flexibility and interactivity at ChicagoCrimes.org is numbingly simple. The manner in which the data is then presented is easily understood and takes advantage the graphically sensitive google maps interface. Simple.

For example. Click into ChicagoCrimes.org and scroll down to Battery. Click and scroll down to any of the different crimes involving battery. I chose knife/cutting instrument and then clicked on the first case, HM666291. Once you drill down very quickly through those three layers you can back out and look at all the crimes in that particular zip code - 60651, and crimes that happened on that date - October 17, 2006 very interesting graph. You can further aggregate crime data by either police beat or ward. Brilliant graphical interface, too.
Couple serious eyes-on the street fixBuffalo readers sent in the same links. Thanks, again. One site for NYC and the other Baltimore, MD home of Citi-Stat. Problems with both are apparent from the beginning. First, NYC Crime data is arranged in .pdf format. So not malleable. And it's arranged at the precinct level - not the street, zip code or citizen level. No way to aggregate and sift. Baltimore Crime data, similar problems. First up you've got to agree to a disclaimer, major stumbling block. The map interface is very difficult to read and takes forever to load and re-load. Same aggregating and sifting problems as NYC. Way to complex.
Simple or complex.
Here in Buffalo if someone send me the link - is there one on-line, or let me know who to goto person is who collects this data - perhaps there's a way around a City Hall fix for the dissemination and aggregation of Buffalo Crime data. Maybe a commercial solution. I mean lawyers love to advertize, right? Politicians, perhaps?

If you live somewhere other than Chicago, Baltimore or NYC let me know how crime data is stored and shared. Would like to collect models from other places.
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1 comment:

b said...

Article in Saturady Buffalo News touched on the general backwardness of city's IT capabilities.


City Hall's computer systems have serious shortcomings, and Buffalo's new accountability panel is starting to tackle the problem.
For years, some officials have complained that various software programs have trouble "talking" to each other.
The Brown administration has been trying for almost a year to find someone to oversee the city's Management Information Systems Department. Raj Mehta has served as acting director for the past several years and is credited by some for doing an admirable job, given the systems he inherited and a lack of resources to retool them. Brown encouraged Mehta to become more aggressive in finding ways to improve the system. "I'm full of ideas, Mr. Mayor," Mehta said.

Sounds like they're stuck in like 1996 and taking baby steps to study and analyze the situation. They really should hire some high quality private firm to re-do the whole operation top to bottom.

Anyhow, seeing that and your other post about Buff State tool reminded me I was gonna forward some more links I found last week of cities doing crime data mapping on web.


Link above is a federal DOJ site that lists dozens of cities with crime mapping on web to at least some extent.

I didn't have time to look at many, but certainly none I did was anywhere near "Chicago" type coolness. Some seemed like toal junk.

On the other hand, quite a few seemed at least somewhat useful and obviouly better than what's available for Buffalo (nothing).

Guessing your Buffalo city contacts never got back to you with any type of even semi-stuctured info they'd make publicly available for that?

Following are a few I saw from that DOJ site but there's many more:

Lenexa, Kansas:

West Des Moines Iowa