Sunday, January 20, 2008

Houston Crime Maps

Visitors to this site may have noticed an ad for "Houston Crime Map" from CrimeHouston, which produces interactive crime maps of Houston. I was curious, and even though I'm not supposed to click through on these ads, I decided to check them out. (I have nothing to do with choosing the ads on this blog; they are chosen--presumably using some complex statistical software--by Google AdSense.)

Well, this firm is actually pretty interesting, if you are into maps and city information. Basically, you can give them a start date and a finish date, and you will get a map of Houston (on which you can zoom in and zoom out) showing the locations and numbers of a variety of different crimes.

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The red dots represent a murder or manslaughter, and the green dots represent a rape. The ones with numbers indicate that there was more than one of a particular type of crime at that location. This map shows rapes and murders between November 30, 2006 and November 30, 2007.

Like many commercial websites, they give a little away for free and make you pay for the complete package. This is conveyed to site visitors with this hilarious notice: "Access is restricted to rape and murder for non-members."

That actually makes a lot of sense. It's titillating to see all the murder locations, but for the average user (say, someone moving to Houston), the most practical use for the site would be seeing where property crimes happen.

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