How to research your neighborhood’s historical crime data
As part of the City of Orlando’s open data website, residents have access to data from the Orlando Police Department, including crime data. This tutorial will show you how you can use the open data website’s data lens tool to analyze your neighborhood’s crime data.
STEP 1: VISIT data.cityoforlando.net
This is the City’s main open data website, data.cityoforlando.net.
STEP 2: CLICK “INTERACTIVE VISUALIZATIONS”
STEP 3: CLICK ON THE “OPD CRIME DATA LENS”
Scroll down this page until you find the data lens called “OPD Crime Data Lens.” Click on this to access it. If you are having trouble finding it click here.
You are now on the OPD Crime Data Lens page. This page shows you visualizations off all non-sensitive crimes in the City of Orlando. (Click here and read the description to learn more about what cases are/aren’t included in this data set).
From this page you can click on any of the visualizations (graphs, maps, etc.) to filter the data. The filters will apply to all the visualizations, you can also see the more specific information for each set of data
STEP 4: CLICK ON YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD ON THE MAP
To filter the data for just your neighborhood, find the data visualization titled “Number of Crimes by Location — Orlando Neighborhoods”, you may need to zoom in or out and click and drag the map to find it.Hovering over your neighborhood, a pop-up will appear with the name of the neighborhood and the total number of crimes for that neighborhood for the amount of time you are looking at (by default it is the past seven years, we’ll show you how to change that in a second). Once you have located your neighborhood, go ahead and click on it.
You’ll notice that once you click on your neighborhood, the rest of the charts and graphs on the page have changed. That’s because you are now looking at only crime in your neighborhood.
STEP 5: CLICK ON 2015 TO SHOW CRIME IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD FOR 2015
Scroll to the top of the page, to the chart titled “Number of Crimes by Case Date Time”, which shows crime over time. Notice right above that chart it will tell you what filters are being applied.. It should say “Showing Crimes where location is [your neighborhood].” There’s also a button right next to it that says “Clear All.” This is the button you want to press if you feel like you have filtered too much and want to start over.
When you are looking at the timeline chart, notice there is a light blue shaded in area and a grey area. The light blue area shows only the data you have filtered (right now that’s just your neighborhood crime data). The grey area shows you all of the crimes in this data set. The crime in your neighborhood should be showing as a small portion of the overall crime. You can look at the other visualizations on the page and you’ll notice the same thing, the blue filtered data versus the grey citywide data.
Go ahead and put your mouse over (without clicking) a portion of the timeline chart. Notice the pop-up which shows you the total amount of crimes in a specific month, both for the entire city and for your neighborhood (the filtered data).
In example image (above/below) it shows there were 191 crimes in the Central Business District Neighborhood and 2,061 total crimes in the City in July 2013. You can move your mouse left and right to see how the data changes from month to month.
Now put your mouse over 2015 at the bottom of the timeline. It’s now showing you the crime data for 2015. Go ahead and click on 2015.
You will now see all crime in your neighborhood for 2015. Note again that the description at the top should now say “Showing Crimes where case date time is 2015 January 01 to 2016 January 01 and location is [Your Neighborhood]”.
STEP 6: FILTER FOR JUST THEFT FROM MOTOR VEHICLES
Now scroll down the page to the chart titled “Case Offense Type.” You can hover over each bar in the bar chart to see how many crimes of each case type occurred in your neighborhood in 2015. Again, the “Total” is the entire City since 2009 and the “Filtered” is what data you have filtered, which is your neighborhood in 2015. When you find the bar titled “Theft from motor vehicle except parts/accessories” Go ahead and click on it.
You have now filtered the page to only show crimes in your neighborhood in 2015 that are thefts from motor vehicles. The top of the page should say “Showing Crimes where case date time is 2015 January 01 to 2016 January 01 and location is Central Business District and case offense type is Theft from motor vehicle except parts/accessories.”
STEP 7: LOOK AT THE RAW DATA
Now that you have setup your filter you may want to look at some more details. Scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find a table of all of the crimes that meet your filter. This is sometimes useful because you might realize that most of the crimes are happening in a specific area in your neighborhood, at a specific time of day or even were all in the same day or week.
STEP 8: LOOK AT THE MAP OF WHERE THE CRIMES ARE HAPPENING
You can also scroll up to the top to the map titled “Location”, which represents each crime as an orange dot. Note that each crime is mapped to the center of the block and does not represent an exact address. This means that for smaller neighborhoods it may not be as useful but for larger neighborhoods it may show that some crimes are happening more often in certain areas.
STEP 9: RUN YOUR ANALYSIS
To run a new analysis you can either clear the filters or click on the data. For example, clicking on the year “2015” in the timeline chart will remove the 2015 filter. And add more filters to analyze different types of crime data.
STEP 10: SHARE WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS
On the top left corner of the data lens you can click the “Export” button. From here you can download the data you have filtered (be sure to check “Current Filter” or you will be downloading the entire data set) or you can save an image of one of the charts. These are great tools for you to use as part of your neighborhood association meetings and your neighborhood watch meetings.