A note on the maps in this guide
Chapter 1: Context and Concepts

Please note that the publication process puts some limitations on the quality of the maps used as examples in this guide. While crime analysts are typically able to produce high-quality maps, often in large format for display purposes, we are limited here to small maps that were usually in larger format when produced. Fortunately, we are able to produce maps in color, which helps enliven the visual message and also helps to convey the various concepts involved. Loss of definition occurs in some cases because the original has been scanned or resized, or both. In some cases, only a low-resolution original was available, yielding a low-resolution reproduction.

Thus most of the maps seen here are compromised in some respects and are unlikely to be the perfect exemplars that we would prefer. Perhaps "do as I say but not necessarily as I appear to have done" would be a fair warning! Ideally, of course, maps should be clear and crisp with appropriate shading or symbolization and legible labels and headings. If that is not the case here for any of our examples, please accept our apologies. The original authors of the maps who have so generously consented to their use here are not to blame for any shortcomings in their reproduction or adaptation.

Purists may be shocked by the presentation of so many maps that lack some of the basic elements normally considered essential in map design, such as a scale, a north arrow, or even a legend. Relatively few maps have what may be called classic good looks. The maps used here were often selected for their ability to illustrate one central point, and strict conformity to classic design criteria was not seen as a critical determinant for inclusion. Indeed, had the strict classical criteria been enforced, this volume would not exist because, as noted elsewhere, few maps in any field go by the book. It would have been necessary to modify most maps to make them conform to strict standards, and this was simply impractical.

Some maps identifying specific neighborhoods in specific cities in sufficient detail to permit the possible identification of individual residences have been constructed using hypothetical data or have been otherwise fictionalized to preserve privacy. It is not my intent to present accurate renditions of crime patterns in specific cities but, rather, to illustrate elements of design and map application. No map reproduced here should be used as a reliable guide to actual crime patterns in actual places.

Chapter 1: Context and Concepts
Previous Contents Next
Return to Home Page



Mapping Crime: Principle and Practice, by Keith Harries, Ph.D., December 1999