Image Processing Reference
In-Depth Information
stretch their resources to the limit. To help optimize the use of these resources, new
technologies and powerful systems are now utilized to assist in the management of
urban environments. Geospatial technologies in particular have proved to be very
valuable in facilitating work in areas related to traffic analysis, city management,
firefighting, policing, and crime analysis (El-Baz 1998 ).
The value of remote sensing and GIS stems from the way in which these tech-
nologies help law enforcement agencies approaching community problem-oriented
policing philosophies and practices from a geographic
perspective. For example, techniques for “crime map-
ping” have been brought to the center of crime prevention
practice and policy through both technological advances
in computer mapping and information systems, and theo-
retical innovations in crime prevention. Crime mapping is
a vital step in preventing and suppressing crime; identifying
and distributing crime-related information to urban com-
munities, police executives, and patrol officers; reducing
the fear of crime; enhancing the quality of life in urban
communities, and improving community problem-orienting
policing (Weisburd and McEwen 1997 ).
Community problem-oriented policing requires the consideration of two major
elements: community engagement, and problem-solving (Banas and Trojanowicz
1985 ; Bayley 1989 ). Community engagement involves a continuous dialog between
the police and the public. Problem-solving is the police primary service to the public
and occurs in four steps: (1) identifying problems in the neighborhood; (2) detecting
the conditions that create those problems; (3) developing and implementing solu-
tions; and (4) assessing the impact of these solutions. As community engagement
raises police accountability, community engagement and problem-solving become
inseparable. The need for effective collaborative problem-solving efforts is very
obvious in this context (Brann and Whalley 1992 ).
geospatial tech-
nologies help law
agencies approach-
ing community
policing philoso-
phies and practices
from a geographic
Spatial Analysis of Crime
Data Versus Information in Community Policing
Information is one of the most valuable tools available for effective crime fighting
(Harries 1999 ). Data are simply a collection of observations that, by themselves,
have little meaning to humans. Information is filtered
or processed data that are meaningful to humans. For
example, a raw satellite image contains a collection of
pixels (data), which needs to be processed in order to
obtain a map that shows a selected number of classes or
themes and their relationships across space (i.e., infor-
mation). The ability to collect reliable observation data
Information is
filtered or processed
data that are
meaningful to
humans in a given
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