In September of last year, the city stopped updating its public crime data reporting
in order to overhaul the system. That meant that my neato maps of crimes in the neighborhood (both on the JDLand home page
and my more extensive Crime Incidents Archive
back to 2005) went silent.
Then, a few weeks ago, MPD announced that data was once again flowing to their crime map application. But what about the XML feed from OCTO
that I have been using since about 2006? Unfortunately, despite a fair amount of pestering by me on Twitter that never elicited any official responses (boo), that feed appears to be the victim of an unreported homicide.
Finally, though, I found some free time and built a new system to import data from the Crime Map into my own database, and you can now see the most recent two weeks' worth of reports on the JDLand home page
and everything for 2013
and the rest of 2012
in the main archive. This won't be all nice and automated like the XML feed system was (again, boo), so don't expect the map to be updated every single day, but I will try my best to get to it on a regular basis.
In the switch to their new data system, MPD did change some of the category names--from Stolen Auto to Motor Vehicle Theft, for instance--so I'm having to tinker some with my code to deal with that, and I'm still uncovering bugs here and there, but I feel like the data is in generally good enough shape to post.
("Anything is Better Than Nothing" is my motto these days.)
One thing I'm seeing in the data: Can there really have been 14 stolen autos--excuse me, motor vehicle thefts--already this year? It seems kind of high, especially since there are only 19 reports from 2012, but perhaps this now also covers scooters, motorcycles, etc. And judging by the more complete records that are sent out via the MPD-1D mailing list
, it can also include "Unauthorized Use by Family Member" or some such. If I were really good I'd start incorporating the additional details that are sent out on the mailing list, but that will require another coding run, so probably not tonight.