Chapter 5: Synthesis and Applications
Mapping criminal justice elements is well advanced, although unevenly distributed among police agencies. Most applications are horizontal, which is to say within the various levels of the criminal justice system. The real challenge is to integrate mapping applications vertically, so that agencies can be linked according to specific problems and be regionally integrated. This is a tall order given the political insularity of agencies and turf and control issues. The perfect world of analysis and mapping might look something like table 5.1. Ideally, mapping applications would be integrated to permit automated multistep analyses. Quite apart from political impediments to data integration, technical obstacles can make integrated analysis quite cumbersome because many spatial joins, which link databases according to their geography, are needed to indicate how records relate to geographic areas.