Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

pp 86-99

Applied Geographical Profiling

  • Alasdair M. GoodwillAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Ryerson University Email author 
  • , Jasper J. van der KempAffiliated withDepartment of Criminal Law and Criminology, VU University Amsterdam
  • , Jan M. WinterAffiliated withNational Police Services Agency


Geo-forensic Analysis; Geographical Offender Profiling; Journey to Crime


Geographical offender profiling (GP) is the practical application of various geographical, criminological, and psychological principles to typically estimate the most likely area of an offender’s home base (e.g., the offender’s residence) or anchor point (e.g., place of work or frequent activity) based on the location of their criminal activity (e.g., crime sites) (Rossmo 2000). The output of a GP analysis can inform ongoing investigative strategy in several ways (Rossmo 2000): suspect prioritization, patrol saturation, neighborhood canvasses, police information systems, and DNA searches, to name but a few (for further strategies used, see Knabe-Nicol and Alison 2011). This entry aims to introduce the reader to the environmental criminological and psychological basis of geographical profiling, discuss state-of-the-art journey to crime (JTC) research, and advocate the further integrat ...

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