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Northeastern University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is excited to offer four one-credit courses in Crime Analysis and Mapping starting Fall 2024. Designed for the working professional, these courses taught by Professor Eric Piza are a response to calls to integrate data-driven policing into the organizational culture of public safety agencies. Crime analysis and mapping are key components of evidence-based programs that simultaneously promote crime prevention and social justice.

About the Courses

Crime analysis is a deep examination of the factors that help us understand why crime occurs. Crime mapping is a key component of crime analysis that is used by law enforcement to map, visualize, and analyze crime incident patterns. Together, crime analysis and crime mapping diagnose problems to facilitate tailored responses to crime and to reduce the frequency and severity of crime problems. Led by an instructor with real-world experience, and by applying tools currently used in the field, students will learn how tailored responses to many crime problems can be found at the the intersection of crime analysis and crime mapping.

This course offers an introduction to ArcGIS Pro, the industry standard in spatial analysis software. ArcGIS Pro builds upon the legacy ArcMAP software, increasing technological capacity and introducing a range of new powerful spatial analysis functions. Students will learn the basic functionality of ArcGIS Pro, explore the various ribbon panes and data portals that comprise the ArcGIS Pro interface, learn the theoretical and practical foundations of the crime analysis profession, create maps and other crime analysis products, and prepare ArcGIS Pro outputs for dissemination to wider audiences. This introductory course serves as the foundation for more advanced courses that employ the ArcGIS Pro platform.

This course covers common geoprocessing and data integration approaches in ArcGIS Pro, the industry standard in spatial analysis software. Geoprocessing refers to the creation and manipulation of data within a geographic information system. Once geo-processed, data layers can be integrated with others to create rich datasets for in-depth analysis. Students will learn how to search for geoprocessing tools in the ArcGIS Pro toolbox, run common geoprocessing functions, create and edit GIS data layers, maximize the analytical value of feature attribute tables, and conduct queries of GIS data layers. This course serves as the foundation for more advanced courses that cover spatiotemporal analytical techniques in ArcGIS Pro.

This course covers hot spot tracking and temporal analysis techniques in ArcGIS Pro, the industry standard in spatial analysis software. The identification of crime hots spots and measurement of activity within areas of interest are core functions of crime analysis. Such crime analysis tasks can be refined though the incorporation of temporal analysis techniques that identity whether (and how) spatial concentrations change over time. Students will learn how to create and edit raster data, calculate incident counts within vector features, conduct temporal forecasting, and map sequential phases of events. This course serves as the foundation for more advanced courses that cover spatial statistics and analysis automation in ArcGIS Pro.

This course covers spatial statistics and analysis automaton in ArcGIS Pro, the industry standard in spatial analysis software. Spatial statistics depart from traditional statistical methods by accounting for space directly in their mathematical algorithms. This provides crime analysts added precision when analyzing spatial distributions, patterns, processes, and relationships. The spatial statistics toolbox adds to the robust collection of geoprocessing functions available in ArcGIS Pro. The availability of such an array of robust tools presents challenges to crime analysts who need to incorporate varied geoprocessing functions in their daily work flows. The ability to fully automate workflows substantially increases efficiency. ArcGIS Pro enables automation though two processes: the task pane and the ModelBuilder platform. In this class, students will learn how to identify statistically significant incident clusters, calculate patterns of feature attribute values, conduct regression analysis, create task processes, and create models to automate geoprocessing workflows.

Professional Application

Having a deep understanding of crime analysis and crime mapping allows criminal justice professionals to more fully comprehend the impact crime analysis and mapping have on practical solutions to everyday criminal justice problems. The courses will facilitate a student’s ability to:

  • Transition from ArcGIS to ArcGIS Pro
  • Support data-driven strategy development
  • Increase transparency through public-facing crime analysis products

Meet the Instructor

Eric Piza, PhD, is a an SCCJ Professor and Co-Director of the Crime Prevention Lab at Northeastern’s Center on Crime, Race, and Justice. A recent empirical evaluation of published research ranked Dr. Piza as the sixth most influential scholar in the field of crime prevention. Before entering academia, Piza served as the GIS Specialist of the Newark, NJ Police Department, responsible for the day-to-day crime analysis and program evaluation activities of the agency. Dr. Piza has been a featured speaker at conferences and seminars organized by government agencies around the world, including the U.S. Department of Justice, London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, Carabineros De Chile (The National Police Force of Chile), and New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Learn more about Dr. Piza.