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Development of a Spatial Analysis Toolkit for Use in a Metropolitan Crime Incident Geographic Information System

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1999
281 pages

This report summarizes the development of a Windows-based spatial statistics computer program that can analyze crime incident location data; the report also includes copies of the user's manual and a quick reference guide.


CrimeStat is intended for use with large crime incident data sets collected by metropolitan police agencies. CrimeStat also can be used for applications involving point locations, including the location of arrests, motor vehicle crashes, emergency medical service pickups, and criminal justice facilities. CrimeStat can interface with crime mapping geographic information systems (GIS) and was linked with the crime mapping efforts of the Baltimore County Police Department. The software, worked examples, and a user's manual were developed over a 21-month period starting in November 1997. The Windows NT program uses a graphical interface with database and expanded statistical functions. It can read files in Dbase III or IV, a common file format in desktop GIS programs, as well as ArcView Shape files. CrimeStat prints tables and can write graphical objects and interpolation files to other computer programs. The program is written in Visual C-plus-plus. It is made up of 176 separate file modules that are linked together during the compilation. The program was modified based on the experience of the developer, the Baltimore County Police Department, the GIS team at the criminal division of the Department of Justice, and beta testers. Figures and 104 references

Date Published: August 1, 1999