BALTIMORE--()--To help reduce crime by identifying crime patterns as well as new methods of prevention, SpotCrime – the most comprehensive online single source for crime data – is making its historical database of crime data from when the company was founded in 2007 to 2009 available to anyone who asks, free of charge.
“We hope this data opens the door for the development of a multitude of web and mobile applications, analyses, and other projects that will help to make the public more aware of criminal activities, identify crime patterns, and ultimately spawn new methods and measures aimed at reducing crime.”
Comprised of approximately 8 million crime records from around the United States, Canada, and the UK, the data set is approximately one gigabyte of data. Data includes the type of crime, location including latitude and longitude coordinates, date, time, description, and referral source for the data.
“As police agencies across America become increasingly data driven, SpotCrime hopes to show the value in making data open to the public,” says SpotCrime Founder and President Colin Drane.
Using Amazon’s S3 technology, SpotCrime will make its crime data available to anyone anywhere by simply providing a download URL via email after agreement to a brief disclaimer. “We are using this email-based request method to minimize data transfer expense,” explains Drane. “The requester’s email address otherwise will not be used in any manner.”
He continues, “We hope this data opens the door for the development of a multitude of web and mobile applications, analyses, and other projects that will help to make the public more aware of criminal activities, identify crime patterns, and ultimately spawn new methods and measures aimed at reducing crime.”
SpotCrime currently sends subscribers 3.5 million email alerts monthly. With its media partners and multiple websites, SpotCrime estimates that more than 6 million people interact with the crime data the company generates each month.
“The more people are aware of what’s occurring in their communities, the higher the chance that community will be proactive in the fight against crime,” says Drane. “SpotCrime is a strong proponent of open data and government transparency. Our goal in making crime data available to anyone who wants it is to improve community safety by promoting mutual trust between law enforcement and the public. Ultimately, we believe this will help to lower crime rates and increase the public’s peace of mind.”
Through its proprietary model, SpotCrime pulls crime incident data from multiple sources, including local county and city police departments and validated news sources, to produce a comprehensive record of local crime information.
The company has attracted numerous subscribers through its partnerships with major U.S. media companies, including Gannett, Sinclair, Belo Television, and Hearst. In addition, SpotCrime has seen its use skyrocket on DIRECTV, where customers have made SpotCrime’s TV App the second fastest growing application offered by the popular video service next to Facebook.
SpotCrime also has launched an iPhone application which allows users to obtain detailed descriptions of the crimes listed and share crime incidents with others via email.
Ironically, SpotCrime’s business model is to make the SpotCrime website ultimately obsolete. “The SpotCrime map is simply a vehicle to get relevant crime information to the public,” explains Drane. “It’s time to take full advantage of the Internet and our interconnected society by allowing this data to be seen and shared without restriction. Full transparency and open distribution allows for multiple companies to consume the data, creatively distribute that information to the public, and ultimately drive both greater awareness and new measures that will lead to a reduction in crime.”
Interested parties should fill out the request form at http://spotcrime.com/contact.php or call (619) 663-7768.