Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

pp 1682-1692

Forecasting of Shootings Using Risk Terrain Modeling

  • Joel M. CaplanAffiliated withSchool of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University Email author 
  • , Leslie W. KennedyAffiliated withSchool of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University


Risk terrain modeling (RTM); Spatial influence


This entry summarizes approaches that have been used to study patterns of shootings and empirically examines the environmental conditions that contribute to the emergence of these events. Geographic information systems (GIS) allow for the mapping of spatial influence which refers to the way in which correlates of crime, as features of a landscape, affect places throughout the landscape. Rather than just a feature’s presence, its influence on space is important because context affects criminal behavior. Operationalizing the spatial influence of crime correlates allows analysts to move beyond just creating maps of points that coexist with crime to creating visual narratives of how settings become conducive to crime. This entry presents ways in which to operationalize criminogenic features of gun shootings to a geographic map. Then it presents the utility of this mapping technique for crime analysis through the ...

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