GIS Tech News (#46)

15 Oct, 2007

Minority Report for the Majority

Information Builders advances the integration of enterprise data to geospatial data for predicting criminal activity.

Predicting where crime would happen next sounds like a wild idea, a concept possible only in the realm of science fiction, like Phillip K. Dick’s short story “Minority Report.” But lately some technology vendors have been combining crime statistics, weather data, geospatial data, and predictive algorithms to create a magical brew that can forecast when and where the next crime wave will most likely hit.

In Richmond, Virginia, Police Chief Rodney Monroe was once a skeptic. “When my IT people told me we could predict where the crime would occur, I just scratched my head,” he recalled.

In 2005, according to, the Richmond Police Department (PD) registered 755 criminal incidents, which was more than twice the national average of 325. Monroe could have easily predicted the crime rate would remain so -- or get a lot worse -- if no drastic measure was taken. So he decided to create a Law Enforcement Analytics (LEA) dashboard combining the cumulated 911 reports, police reports, citywide events, and graphical data.

The Birth of LEA
LEA is a joint operation, so to speak. The dashboard is built on the WebFOCUS BI (business intelligence) software platform from Information Builders. Using ESRI’s ArcGIS software, it displays aggregated crime data mapped by location and sector. Clementine, a data-mining and analytics software from SPSS, is responsible for predicting possible criminal patterns based on civic events, weather, and historical data. Read more>>

Autodesk Map 3D 2007 (Cadalyst Labs Review)

By James L. Sipes

Integrating CAD drawings and GIS data has been amazingly frustrating. That situation is changing, though, as CAD programs get better at working with geospatial data and GIS programs provide better drawing, editing, and CAD file import tools. One program that seeks to bring together the CAD and GIS worlds is Autodesk Map 3D 2007. With this latest release, Autodesk makes it clear that it's serious about integrating geospatial data into CAD. Read more>>


Webinar: Visualizing Tunnels
October 23, 2007
8:00 a.m. PDT
RDV Systems presents live Webinar sessions that will take a task-oriented approach aimed at solving everyday, real-life visualization challenges that face civil engineers and land planners. This session will cover extruding the tunnel shape, portals, and using transparency. Read more

November 1, 2007
Portland, Oregon
This Autodesk User Group International (AUGI) regional learning and networking event will be packed with interesting courses and opportunities to network with fellow “campers” and browse the exhibit area. The foremost goal of AUGI CAD Camp is to enlighten and inform through educational sessions, which serve to broaden users' experience with the Autodesk products they use every day. Read more

Geographic Information Education Program
November 7, 2007
Belfast, United Kingdom
The GeoInformation Group will sponsor a free educational event for everyone in the geographic information community from recent graduates to highly experienced professionals. The seminar will be complemented by an exhibition. Anyone interested in learning more about the availability, management, and application of geographic data and related technologies is encouraged to register. Read more

Autodesk University
November 27-30, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
Autodesk University is a multilevel experience in training and networking, which over four days offers a choice of more than 500 classes including advanced classes, hands-on labs, business-management solutions and strategies, and more. Also featured is an Exhibit Hall showing cutting-edge tools and services; briefings on key business trends, product futures, and company direction; and social events. Read more

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.