Cloud Crime Mapping
Crime Mapping is basically visualizing where crime happens on a map so that people can either avoid it or factor it in when calculating risk management. With big data such as crime and mapping predicted to be a major focus for Cloud computing in 2012, it offers great promise for many a startup in 2012. As such we have listed three of the more promising Crime Mapping Startups to watch for in 2012 which includes Crimedar, Mapacrime and Sgo (SureteGlobale.Org).
Designed to be more of a map-based online neighborhood watch, Crimedar.com currently covers several townships in the United States but it has the potential to cover global areas provided support for Crimedar grows enough to be sufficient in those areas. According to their site it is being marketed to law enforcement agencies as a custom crime map solution. For the general user, it is a free and easy to use yet interactive map of your neighborhood which you can then view and report crime 24/7 (according to the site this includes the usual crimes of theft, burglary, robbery, assault, arson, vandalism, gunfire and suspicious or threatening behavior).
The site uses Microsoft’s Silverlight technology to run the whole shebang (so you need to have it installed first to use it) while the maps are based on those from Bing. The information on these interactive maps can be shared on Facebook and Twitter along with other platforms. If your community is not covered you can create a map for your community by yourself, which basically makes this a crowd-sourced crime mapping system. However, spreading the word or marketing for your Crimedar community map is still your own prerogative with no visible signs that the site will do the marketing for your specific community just yet. While the technology and ease of use makes it very promising, it still remains to be seen whether or not it will catch on.
Sgo or SureteGlobale.org is a company in France that has had a history of two years helping Police Forces, Fire brigades and cities in France to deal with Crime Mapping, Predictive/Forecasting Crime Mapping and Crime Policing. The actual crime mapping startup was started by Pascal Frion two months ago and is aimed more at the enforcement agencies than the general public. According to their demo videos the main tool for crime mapping will be called Hotspot Map Commander and will provide a downloadable geographical analysis format .kml file that will interact with Google Earth or Microsoft Visual Earth to show the areas where crime is high. The main site shows that it can display more than just this but hasn’t showcased this in any demo videos just yet.
However, while their focus may be less public based, they provide more expertise in the field of criminology than some other startups. According to them they combine unique criminal behavior algorithms to help provide a clearer picture or analysis of the crime mapping in the area. Unlike some other sites, they only have demo videos to show for now but their experience in the field is promising to say the least. Again, only time will tell if a more professional approach is the answer to Crime Mapping for 2012 but we will see.
Covering all corners of the globe Mapacrime.com targets Pakistan and the areas surrounding it. Based on the idea of Harassmap.org (which is a similar mapping site but more focused on harassment) Mapacrime was launched in August 2011. Members of the public are encouraged to report acts of crime happening to them or to others through the site. While this does make the crime mapping at the site crowd-sourced it is more of an actual crime mapping site than a tool like some other crime mapping startups.
So far the site has yet to reach its peak but it still perseveres by offering crime related statistics and news in the area for visitors to the site. Apart from a general zoomable map, the site also provides alerts based on area which it will email to respective submitters.
Other Crime mapping sites of note include the Trulia Crime Maps which acquired the Movity startup for its geo-data aggregation technology to help enable this feature. Since the Trulia Crime Maps is more of an offshoot of the Trulia real-estate site it was not included in the list above.
By Muz Ismail