Interactive map in DC shows crime locations, trends
- Washington, DC launched Crime Cards last week, an interactive crime mapping application that provides data visualizations of crime locations, types and trends across the city's eight wards. It will replace DC Crime Map, which is now a decade old and not modernized for mobile users, which account for half of its traffic.
- In a press release announcing the service, officials said it is mobile-enabled, more user-friendly and offers enhanced search options with a modernized design. Users can search the last eight years of data by area, crime category or type, and date.
- "By improving our crime mapping application to be more user and mobile-friendly, we are providing DC residents with the tools they need to stay informed and building trust and transparency in our community — an essential part of combating crime across the District," Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.
After a decade of use, officials felt that DC Crime Map was starting to show its age and needed a refresh.
With the software update it should be more user-friendly, with individual cards breaking down crime trends now generated by its data to fit any screen, including mobile. With data more readily available, it will be easier for DC residents and visitors to keep track of reported crime and any trends.
As cities continue to find ways to map data, including amenities and services as well as crime, Crime Cards has software and technology that can be reused to map other types of data. Given that it was built in-house, it should be easy for DC officials to take lessons learned from the rollout and use of Crime Cards in other mapping tools.
In building out this new application, DC collaborated with local business Mapbox as well as its Office of the Chief Technology Officer. As local governments look to make data easy to access by the public, working with experts in the private sector and across departments takes advantage of a wealth of knowledge and could help keep costs down.
"Collaboration is key to improving our communities and innovation propels it further," Interim Chief Technology Officer Barney Krucoff said in a statement.
Follow Chris Teale on Twitter