The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Criminal Justice: M.S.


Criminal Justice


School of Public Affairs

First Advisor

D. Lee Gilbertson

Second Advisor

Dick T. Andzenge

Third Advisor

Balsy Kasi

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Crime Mapping; Crime Analysis; Intelligence; Law Enforcement; Public Safety; Analytics


Law enforcement continues to improve with the constant changes in policies, social trends, and advancements – in their respective jurisdictions and others. Current trends in law enforcement improvements include the implications of evidence-based practices, problem-oriented policing, and intelligence-led practices. Much of the mentioned practices require practitioners to be savvy in criminological theory. Current research in criminology examine the environmental factors that influence crime, which reinforces law enforcement agencies to engage in crime analysis and crime mapping. Crime mapping is the principle method behind examining environment factors and situations that influence crime; Geographic Information Systems (GIS) create automated maps with attribute data to examine spatial, temporal, and other aspect influences on crime.

The market for GIS software for law enforcement is extensive in tools, analytical methods, and report outputs – not one software product is fit for all law enforcement agencies. This study examines the variety of GIS software used by law enforcement agencies, and compare the results to a previous study.

The results of the study is compared with a similar survey conducted in 1999, and assesses agency choices and uses of GIS software within the department. Findings from the study reveal that crime mapping continues to be an integral attribute in law enforcement practices; as well as similarities and variations in practices. The study concludes with a discussion as to why agencies vary with crime mapping practices, assess and explain crime mapping trend differences, and proposes recommendations for future crime mapping research in other areas of criminal justice and public policy.