One of the foundations of criminological theory is that three things are needed for a crime to occur: a motivated offender, a suitable target and a location. Once the first two pieces of this crime triangle are in place, the opportunity is set for a criminal act to happen, so it is only natural that analysts use geographic information system (GIS) technology to map crime locations. However, putting dots on the map is just the initial step in understanding a crime problem. The context of the criminal event must be analyzed and compared with other crime data to derive meaning from it, detect patterns in the data and grasp the bigger picture.
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