GIS: A New Tool for Criminology and Victimology’s Studies

GIS: A New Tool for Criminology and Victimology’s Studies

Elena Bianchini (“lAma Mater Studiorum,” University of Bologna, Italy) and Sandra Sicurella (“lAma Mater Studiorum,” University of Bologna, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2071-1.ch016


The advent of the GIS technology has revolutionized the traditional field of information and cartographic production. The GIS, indeed, enables the management of much more numerous and more complex data and it is able to overcome the static and the traditional two-dimensional cartography. The Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which is used in various fields and disciplines, also represents a valuable tool for investigation in the university research. In criminology in particular, it has facilitated, regarding the city of Bologna, a kind of crime mapping on the nature of the so called “petty crimes” within the jurisdiction of the criminal Justice of the Peace, and the creation of a city’s map on which have been identified support centers for victims operating in them. The use of GIS software is the basis in order to realize and put into practice not only operational measures designed to combat and to prevent crime, but it is also of help to social control measures, to public policy and to security. To the end of ensuring public safety, nowadays, it is essential to have a clear, spatial, and graphic representation of the high concentrations of crime areas and of the degraded ones, in which there is a greater likelihood that some type of crime is committed.
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The Use Of Geographical Mapping In Criminology

Within the criminological research, geographical mapping has ancient origins. Already Quételet and Guerry, after a careful consultation of official data, had prepared a “paper crime” and Guerry in particular, in 1833, created a “social cartography” of relative crime on analyzing the socio-structural data belonging to different French departments (Melossi, 2002). However it is with The Chicago School of Sociology, in the first half of 1900, that are carried out systematic studies on the city, as an organic whole, making use of maps.

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