The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-2
11 Nov 2014
 | 11 Nov 2014

Official crime data versus collaborative crime mapping at a Brazilian city

P. L. Brito, E. G. V. Jesus, R. M. S. Sant' Ana, C. Martins, J. P. M. Delgado, and V. O. Fernandes

Keywords: Collaborative mapping, crime mapping, Kernel, pedestrian robbery, Salvador, map algebra

Abstract. In July of 2013 a group of undergraduate students from the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, published a collaborative web map called “Where I Was Robbed”. Their initial efforts in publicizing their web map were restricted to announce it at a local radio as a tool of social interest. In two months the map had almost 10.000 reports, 155 reports per day and people from more the 350 cities had already reported a crime. The present study consists in an investigation about this collaborative web map spatial correlation to official robbery data registered at the Secretary of Public Safety database, for the city of Salvador, Bahia. Kernel density estimator combined with map algebra was used to the investigation. Spatial correlations with official robbery data for the city of Salvador were not found initially, but after standardizing collaborative data and mining official registers, both data pointed at very similar areas as the main hot spots for pedestrian robbery. Both areas are located at two of the most economical active areas of the city, although web map crimes reports were more concentrated in an area with higher income population. This results and discussions indicates that this collaborative application is been used mainly by mid class and upper class parcel of the city population, but can still provide significant information on public safety priority areas. Therefore, extended divulgation, on local papers, radio and TV, of the collaborative crime map application and partnership with official agencies are strongly recommended.