Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Criminals Don't Climb

San Francisco's criminals are a lazy lot, if we are to believe Crime Doesn't Climb. The Crime Doesn't Crime map uses the Google Maps API Elevation Service to map crime statistics in San Francisco by height.

The map clearly shows that there is some correlation between the levels of crime and elevation. However there could be a number of reasons why crime levels drop-off sharply at higher elevations. For example, there could be less population density at higher altitudes or properties and streets at the top of hills might be more affluent and better policed.

GeoSpocket has posted a thoughtful response to Crime Doesn't Climb. GeoSocket's response does take into account population density. concluding that when you "account for population, the relationship between crime frequency and elevation gets a lot shakier".

It appears that in some small areas of San Francisco elevation levels may have lower levels of crime but even in those areas 'the model fit is still weak'.

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