The Spatial Structure of Crime in Urban Environments

  • Sarah White
  • Tobin Yehle
  • Hugo Serrano
  • Marcos Oliveira
  • Ronaldo MenezesEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8852)


It is undoubtedly cliché to say that we are in the Age of Big Data Analytics or Data Science; every computing and IT publication you find talks about Big Data and companies no longer are interested in software engineers and analysts but instead they are looking for Data Scientists! In spite of the excessive use of the term, the truth of the matter is that data has never been more available and the increase in computation power allows for more sophisticated tools to identify patterns in the data and on the networks that governs these systems (complex networks). Crime is not different, the open data phenomena has spread to thousand of cities in the world, which are making data about crime activity available for any citizen to look at. Furthermore, new criminology studies argue that criminals typically commit crimes in areas in which they are familiar, usually close to home. Using this information we propose a new model based on networks to build links between crimes in close physical proximity. We show that the structure of the criminal activity can be partially represented by this spatial network of sites. In this paper we describe this process and the analysis of the networks we have constructed to find patterns in the underlying structure of criminal activity.


Network science Crime mapping Social disorganization Routine activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah White
    • 1
  • Tobin Yehle
    • 2
  • Hugo Serrano
    • 3
  • Marcos Oliveira
    • 3
  • Ronaldo Menezes
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Arts and SciencesUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.School of ComputingUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.BioComplex LaboratoryFlorida Institute of TechnologyMelbourneUSA

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