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Race, Ethnicity, and PolicingNew and Essential Readings$
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Stephen K. Rice and Michael D. White

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814776155

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814776155.001.0001

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Using Geographic Information Systems to Study Race, Crime, and Policing

Using Geographic Information Systems to Study Race, Crime, and Policing

(p.205) Chapter 8 Using Geographic Information Systems to Study Race, Crime, and Policing
Race, Ethnicity, and Policing

Matt R. Nobles

NYU Press

This chapter discusses how geographic information systems (GIS) have become indispensable in the study of policing. It describes the history of recognizing the importance of place and crime, arguing that GIS is a natural progression of that historical body of work, particularly in the study of race/ethnicity, bias, and policing. It also provides a brief tutorial on how to create and use maps with different types of software, and presents examples where both researchers and the police utilized GIS in the study of racial profiling. These examples cover traffic stop studies in St. Louis, Cleveland, and Sacramento. The chapter concludes with a discussion of “open issues” related to GIS that underscore the technique as a “relatively new and promising methodological approach to address old questions related to whether policing practice differs significantly and systematically from expectations based on the social and environmental conditions in a given area.”

Keywords:   geographic information systems, policing, place, crime, race bias, ethnicity bias, racial profiling

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