Map city crimes with new online tool

Curious about where violent crimes happened in your 'hood in the past month?

You can now map homicides, rapes, robberies, burglaries, thefts, arsons, aggravated assaults and motor vehicle thefts using a new mapping tool city officials announced today at police headquarters. Just the past 30 days - updated nightly - will be visible on the mapping tool's home page. But data going back to January 2006 is available for free download; that amounts to 594,000 records, said Adel Ebeid, the city's chief innovation officer. Only basic data is included, but the map contains incident numbers (except in sexual assaults, to protect victims' identities) for users who want to research further details. Click here or here to access it.

The mapping tool - part of Mayor Nutter's Open Data Policy established in April - should increase government transparency and the public's trust, Ebeid said. Authorities aim to get other city data -  possibly licenses and inspections, vacant housing or city budgets - online too, but Ebeid wouldn't specify which information would be availble nor when.

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