Using GIS and Spatial Analysis To Better Understand Patterns and Causes of Violence

Monday, February 22, 2010: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room 5A (San Diego Convention Center)
Interpersonal violence represents a serious social, public health, and economic burden in the United States. The evidence is now clear that human ecology and social organization play a substantial role in the spatial distribution of violence rates. Although geographic information system (GIS) tools and spatial analysis hold considerable promise in better understanding the patterns and causes of violence, the application of these methods to the study of violence is still new, and substantial theoretical and methodological questions remain. This panel provides concrete examples of how spatial analysis can be used to address substantive topics such as gang violence, the risk of violent victimization based on one’s daily movements within local space, and the association between alcohol outlets and assaults. At the same time, the studies illustrate important methodological questions -- including spatial dependence, the nature of diffusion effects, the conceptualization of space, and space-time interaction -- that must be considered. The result will be a discussion that reveals the theoretical, methodological, and practical potential of GIS and spatial analysis in better understanding how the environment, and our movement within that environment, affects violence and victimization.
William Alex Pridemore, Indiana University
Robert Nash Parker, University of California
Tony H. Grubesic, Indiana University
A Spatial Analysis of Alcohol Outlet Density and Assaults
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