"Computerized mapping has many crime prevention and control applications. Mapping software's unique ability to overlay disparate data sets makes it an excellent tool for identifying factors related to the multidimensional, multifaceted crime problem. On the basis of a literature review and telephone interviews, this Research in Action focuses on some organizations that use mapping technologies in crime control and prevention programs, assesses the overall utility of these technologies, and identifies some obstacles to increased use of mapping. Highlights of this discussion are as follows: For crime control and prevention, mapping software has two primary goals: to further an understanding of the nature and extent of criminal and social problems in a community, particularly the relationship between criminal activity and possible contributing factors, and to improve the allocation of resources to combat these problems. Mapping efforts for crime prevention and control rely on police department data, particularly call-for-service and incident data. Community groups and multiagency task forces also use geographic and demographic data from the Census Bureau, other State and local government agencies, or commercial vendors."
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: http://www.ncjrs.gov