Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Mapping Gunfire Near DC Schools

Washington DC's ShotSpotter system is a network of over 300 acoustic sensors that are used to detect the sound of gunfire in the city and triangulate the location of each shooting. The Urban Institute has used the data from the ShotSpotter system to map gunfire incidents which took place near Washington DC schools during the 2011–12 school year.

Mapping Gunshots Near DC Schools plots schools in Washington DC and incidents of gunfire on the same map. The school map markers are color-coded to show schools that were within 500 feet of a gunshot, 1,000 feet and those that were further than 1,000 feet from a shooting incident. The map also allows you to turn off gunshot incidents which took place outside the time of normal school hours.

The Washington Post has also used the ShotSpotter data to create a heatmap of shooting incidents in Washington DC. The newspaper has taken the data from the last eight years and mapped 39,000 outdoor gunshot incidents detected by ShotSpotter.

The DC ShotSpotter map is a heat map showing the hotspots in the city where gunfire has been detected by the acoustic sensors. The heat map is slightly misleading because the ShotSpotter network only covers parts of the city and is focused on neighborhoods with the most violent crime. The map however does show the hotspots in the districts where ShotSpotter is in use.

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