The purpose of this research is to provide a baseline assessment of the state of the online crime mapping field. Specifically, this report is designed to determine how many online crime mapping companies there are, the basic functions and services they provide, and the accuracy with which they re-produce the local crime data of a police agency.
Seven different online mapping companies were identified and canvassed on a number of topics relating to their businesses. In addition to basic information about customer base, questions were asked concerning data acquisition, data integrity, and data archiving. Results indicate that there is a range of online mapping company types, each with a slightly different focus or market. These online mapping companies are effective in handling data uploading, data validation, secure data storage, and how they handle complaints and service issues. Finally, the various online mapping companies analyzed are providing accurate data, with over 80% of all errors being within 300 feet of incident locations. In addition to these findings, recommendations are made for areas of future study and research.