GIS Solves Crimes

<p>Cops in Toronto catch a criminal through GIS plotting, and reporter Sara Barbour takes us on a tour of other unusual new applications of GIS.</p>
June 30, 2008, 5am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"At 10:30 one morning in late 2006, two police officers in the city of Toronto parked several blocks away from a nearby school. To passers-by, the police car appeared to have stopped at random; in fact, the pair's location was carefully planned based on months' worth of data. When a white van passed less than half an hour later, the officers cautiously followed it before signaling the driver to pull over.

By 11:03 a.m., the driver - a sex offender who had been harassing children in the area for more than a year - was under arrest.

For Manny San Pedro, detective constable and geographic profiling analyst for the Toronto Police, the 33-minute capture is the perfect case to demonstrate how geographic information systems (GIS) are putting officers in a position to solve crime - and just one example of how spatial thinking is changing the way we work today."

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Published on Thursday, June 26, 2008 in Miller/McCune
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