Reset Rating: B+ (12 out of 15)

ResetRatings_B+

Link: http://www.sf-police.org/index.aspx?page=1618

Moving to a new apartment in another San Francisco neighborhood? Wondering why your apartment is so cheap despite the wood floors and new, attractive Kohler faucets?

CrimeMAPs, generated by The Omega Group, in collaboration with the San Francisco Police Department, is based on official police reports and provides, mostly, current information on, some, crimes in localities.

Accessibility: 1 out of 3

This visual service is not available offline (and online, you need a high-speed connection), though you can go to a public library and use computers there to access it. You can also contact your local station for information regarding crime rates in your area or attend public meetings held by each District Captain where public safety reports are covered.

The information published on the maps reflects crimes committed and reported in the past 90 days. For data going further back, you can contact your local station.

The crimes noted are also only for initial incidents. If an incident report (police incident reports are the sources for the information on these maps) is for an evolving case, the initial reported crime is what is reflected on the map (if an act of arson is committed, and only later bodies are found, the Crime Map will not reflect the acts of homicide).

An incident reported will be only represented on the maps if there is a clear address or location affiliated with it (“somewhere on the Muni” does not make the cut).

… Makes you wonder if these maps make our city look safer than it really is …

Ease of Use: 3 out of 3

For something that is reasonably technically complicated, it is pretty easy to use and navigate.

Design: 3 of 3

The pages that exist within the SFPD site are consistent in formatting and the CrimeMAPswebpage is also pretty clear with a meaningful top navigation bar that expands and collapses as you click on different options.

The Guide: 3 out of 3

An obvious “Help” link is available at the top of the CrimeMAPs page, which offers everything from legend clarification to printing instructions. You can also call your local station to ask any questions you may have.

User Feedback: 2 out of 3

The Omega Group, which hosts the maps, offers a “Contact Us” link at the top of their page which users can use to receive assistance, report problems, or suggest improvements.

Aside from calling your local station, the SFPD does not host a formal feedback mechanism for this service.

Finding it…

From the SFPD home page, choose the button in the bottom left-hand corner, “CompStat & Crime Map.” Then from the CompStat page, select “Crime Maps” from the links just below the“SFPD CompStat” header. Then read through the lengthy list of instructions and explanations, click “I accept,” and you’re there.