British Columbia

Vancouver police unveil new crime-mapping tool

Geodash, a new police crime mapping tool, allows users to see where and what types of crime happen in their communities.

Geodash's data is refreshed every 24 hours with latest crime reports

Geodash, a new police mapping tool, allows users to see when and what types of crimes happen in their communities. (geodash.vpd.ca)

If you want to know how much crime is happening in your neighbourhood, Vancouver police have released a new crime-mapping tool for the public to use.

GeoDASH — which stands for Geographic Data Analysis and Statistics Hub — is an interactive map that can not only run statistical reports but shows select types of crimes in the city, such as break-ins, homicides, car thefts and mischief.

It's the same system police officers have used in their cruisers for the past year but strips any information that could violate a person's privacy, said Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer on Tuesday.

"It has been assisting front-line officers in identifying crime trends as they patrol through the streets of Vancouver," he said. 

Although the VPD has released crime data on its website before, it wasn't user friendly.

"We realize the information we were providing was old-fashioned statistical sheets in excel and heat maps, and we realized we could improve on what we were providing with a more modern platform," Palmer said. 

GeoDASH can display up to 1,000 incidents on the map at any given time. The data is refreshed every 24 hours. 

However, it is not comprehensive. Police have only made data available on crimes from Jan. 1, 2003 and certain types of crimes are excluded for privacy and investigative reasons.

It also does not include Skytrain incidents as those types of crimes, even if they occur in the city of Vancouver, fall under the jurisdiction of the transit police. 

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