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NCJ Number: 205943 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Police Officers' Perceptions of Maps and Aerial Photographs
Author(s): Philip Canter; Keith Harries
Editor(s): Ian K. McKenzie
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined police officers’ perceptions of maps and aerial photographs, specifically the most useful types of maps and the relationship between the area covered and the detail covered in the maps.
Abstract: Geographic information systems (GIS) have been increasingly adopted by law enforcement agencies throughout the world. However, a key point of interest has become how effectively maps and related media communicate information. In this study supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 24 police officers from Baltimore County, MD, were interviewed to examine the utility of alternative visualizations of crime data presented in varying geographic scales. The intent was to offer a better understanding of the effectiveness of maps and aerial photographs. Officers universally recognize the value of GIS for crime mapping. The findings of the survey suggest several conclusions. Officers viewed centerline maps favorably even though it was said by some that it was difficult to relate crime locations to other map features. Aerial photography received relatively greater approval at the neighborhood level compared to community scale. It was suggested that some officers believed that the aerial photographs and building footprints made the map more difficult to read and interpret. Officers had firm opinions about which types of maps they preferred when seeing crime locations at the neighborhood scale. The opinions of officers regarding the types of features displayed on maps at a community scale were more varied. The underlying assumption was that richer images conveyed more information and ultimately resulted in better decisionmaking. References and appendices A-B
Main Term(s): Geographic information systems (GIS)
Index Term(s): Computer mapping; Geographic distribution of crime; Maryland; NIJ grant-related documents; Photographic mapping; Photography; Photography techniques
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