The City of Danville has added new features to its online map detailing crime within the city, and for those using mobile devices, this map now offers a separate site dedicated for smart phones and tablets.
The interactive map pinpoints the location of police-documented incidents of aggravated assault, arson, burglary, forcible sexual offense, grand larceny, homicide, motor vehicle theft and robbery.
“The new features include simple, drop-down menus that allow the user to interactively choose the reporting year and crime category of interest,” said Tim Shortley, a geographic information systems programmer/analyst in the department. “This gives the user the ability to compare specific types of criminal behavior, such as burglary rates and locations, across different parts of the city.”
Prior to the upgrade, the map displayed only the overall crime rate and locations of all crimes within each police district.
For mobile users, these features are available through touch-sensitive gestures and buttons found throughout the application. This provides a clean appearance and smooth operation of the crime map on small-screen mobile devices. The mobile version of the crime map also allows users to identify crime in their immediate vicinity, while in the city, through the “My Location” tool.
Danville Police Maj. Chris Wiles said the value of crime mapping is a matter of awareness. “The map provides crime statistics to the public in a visual way, and it shows what’s going on in multiple views ranging from citywide to the neighborhood level,” Wiles said.
Updated nightly, the map now shows the type of crime committed and on which block. For the privacy of crime victims, the map does not show individual residences or parcels.
To find the map, go to http://gis.danvilleva.gov/crime/.
The mobile version has been tested and confirmed operational on current and last generation iOS and Android based devices. Mobile users will be redirected to the mobile version of the map and can opt-out if they wish to view the desktop version.
The desktop application operates on the latest versions of Internet Explorer (v10/v11), Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari browsers.
Links to updated step-by-step tutorials for both desktop and mobile browsers are available on each site; however, the interface of the program should be relatively intuitive for most users, especially those familiar with online mapping tools such as Google Maps.
The city’s Information Technology Department initiated the project and created the mapping application. Work on the map began in December 2013. The site was first made available to the public in June 2014.