Minneapolis Homicide Maps – 2012- 2017

The page displays multiple maps of criminal homicides that have occurred within Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017. Each map displays specific characteristics which help give possible explanations to these homicides. Understanding the dispersion of the homicides within a city can be used to prevent the homicides and avoid homicide hotspots.

The production of these maps and some the analysis of the data was done using QGIS, a free open source GIS software. The rest of the data analysis was done using a free trial of ArcGIS. ArcGIS is much more useful for analyzing data while QGIS was a great software to finalize the maps.

Community Comparison

1) The map to the left displays criminal homicides in Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017 as black dots. These dots, or point data, cluster in two areas of the city: North Cluster, and Downtown cluster. The average location has also been calculated for each homicide cluster.

Minneapolis is comprised of communities, and communities are made up of neighborhoods. Community tracts or neighborhoods are displayed as different shades of red, pink or white depending on the density of homicides. This map gives us an idea where the homicides are happening as well as various community comparisons.

 

Kernel Density

2) The map to the left displays criminal homicides in Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017 as red dots. ArcGIS was utilized for this map by using the Kernel Density tool. Kernel density is a great tool to use to show areas where point data has a higher concentration. The darker the Kernel density value means a higher chance for a criminal homicide to take place in that location.

 

 

 

Cluster Analysis

3) The map to the left displays the criminal homicides in Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017 divided into three categories: The North homicide cluster in purple, the Phillips homicide cluster in green, and the few homicides that are considered outliers in black. The two clusters’ average location has been calculated as well as the standard distance to display how large the cluster is. From the map, you can see how the Phillips cluster is more dispersed compared to the North cluster.

 

 

 

Spatial Point Pattern Analysis

4) The map to the left displays a comparison of the two main criminal homicide clusters within Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017. The clusters’ average locations have been calculated to show how the average location has moved over time. The clusters’ standard distances have also been calculated to display how far apart the homicides are.

Colors have been coordinated by year to display differences year by year. As you can tell from the map, the distance between each homicide can range greatly from year to year.

 

 

Homicide Hotspot Analysis

5) The map to the left displays criminal homicides within Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017 in black dots. Police stations have been displayed as yellow stars to get an idea of their distribution throughout the city compared to the distribution of homicides. This map utilized ArcGIS’s ability to perform hotspot analysis. Hexagons of orange to red are areas of 90-99% confidence of a hotspot, while hexagons of green to blue are areas of 90-99% confidence of a coldspot. Any other hexagon, of yellow color, is an area that is not a significant homicide location. Hotspot analysis gives us a great idea of which parts of the city are safer from homicide and which areas are at a higher risk of homicide.

 

 

 

Homicide Outlier Analysis

6) The map to the left displays criminal homicides within Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017 as black dots. The map utilizes the ability within ArcGIS to perform an Optimized Outlier analysis which allows us to decide whether homicide locations have a high or low clustering. Hexagons of white color are not significant. Hexagons of dark red displays areas of a high chance of low clustering, while hexagons of light red displays areas of a high chance of high clustering. Hexagons of dark blue displays areas of a low chance of high clustering, while hexagons of light blue displays areas of a low chance of low clustering. This map is useful to decide if an area of the city is at a higher chance to be a homicide cluster according to homicides that have already occurred.

 

Liquor Sales Map

7) The map to the left displays criminal homicides within Minneapolis based on their average location by year from 2012 to 2017. Each year has its own color to understand how the average location has changed year to year. A census tract dividing the city into 116 tracts has been aggregated to display the amount of liquor stores and bars in each tract. Alcohol is often a source for homicide, so knowing how liquor stores are dispersed compared to homicides can help to learn to prevent them. Very interestingly from the map you can see that the average location of all homicides fall within the area where the most liquor is sold within the city. This proves that alcohol sale is correlated to homicides.

 

 

Parks Buffer Map

8) The map to the left displays criminal homicides within Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017 as red dots. Liquor stores and bars are displayed as black dots, while drug stores have been displayed yellow dots. A parks layer has been added to compare homicides with their proximity to parks. It is believed that parks can serve as a breeding ground for murderers because of the ability to scope out potential victims. Due to this theory, the parks layer has been given a 0.25 mile buffer to search for variables that correlate to that distance. 488/808 (60.39%) of bars or liquor stores fall within a 0.25 mile buffer zone of parks. This allows a criminal to walk to a park fairly quickly shortly after purchasing alcohol. 22/38 (57.89%) of drug stores fall within a 0.25 mile buffer zone of parks. This makes it easy for criminals to walk into a park, shortly after purchasing over the counter drugs. 102/153 (66.67%) of homicides fall within a 0.25 mile buffer zone of parks. This means a majority of murders are within a short walking distance of a park, making parks a possible target zone for criminals to prey on victims, while potentially intoxicated.

 

Street Camera Buffer Map

9) The map to the left displays criminal homicides within Minneapolis from 2012 to 2017 as green dots. City street camera locations have been plotted as well in purple. It is assumed that a criminal would rather not commit a crime on camera, which would lead to being caught easier. A 0.1 mile buffer was created around each camera to represent the distance a camera could capture film. Although the buffer doesn’t give us great information to solve these murders, you can notice the strategic placement of cameras by the city of Minneapolis in the effort to capture crime heavy areas on video camera. Each community tract within the city has been aggregated to display the amount of homicides represented in red, pink or white.

 

 

Violent Crime Hotspot Analysis

10) The map to the left displays the city of Minneapolis’s 116 census tracts aggregated based on the whether or not the area is considered a violent crime hotspot or coldspot. Violent crimes were sorted through Minneapolis crime data by selecting crimes such as Assault, Rape, Murder, Arson and Robbery. Census tracts with a yellow to red color are areas of 90-99% confidence that they are hotspots, indicating more violent crime. Census tracts from green to blue color are areas of 90-99% confidence that are called coldspots, indicating less violent crime. Census tracts of white color are not significant enough to be considered hotspots or coldspots.

 

 

Copyright 2018: All maps have been created by the Center for Homicide Research.