A. Final Proposal Topic, Description and Functionalities

How safe is LA? New IT firm to re-present the city’s safety in a new light

We are pleased to announce Home.Land.Security., a new IT firm specializing in mapping the safety of San Francisco’s communities for the city’s most vulnerable people.

In February of this year, Trayvon Martin, a 16-year-old African American was shot and killed by George Zimmerman as he walked to his girlfriend’s house in Sanford, Florida. The killing, which appears to have been racially motivated, has triggered anger and sadness nationwide. It has also sparked controversy and attention to the safety of Black and Latino teenagers—especially after talk show host Geraldo Rivera suggested that Trayvon’s death was due to his wardrobe choice (a hooded sweatshirt) rather than his racist attacker. This project is a response to incidents like Trayvon’s death, and seeks to bring to light the larger systemic forces that make neighborhoods unsafe and unhealthy.

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the interrelationships between health, safety, and the built environment and the dire need to create safer spaces. Public health professionals have begun to think more holistically about health, questioning the social and spatial determinants of wellbeing. Planners too are thinking beyond their traditional domain, questioning how streets, housing, neighborhoods and cities may affect the health of their residents.

We believe that this growing attention to creating safe and healthy spaces is a positive development, but that it does not go far enough. It has failed to address the acute threats to the safety of queers, immigrants, people of color, women, low-income people, the homeless, people with disabilities, and other communities.

Home.Land.Security. seeks to fill this gap by visually representing unsafe, threatening and harmful spaces as experienced by the most vulnerable.

FUNCTIONALITIES (Note some of these features were added after the blog post deadline):

  1. Search Bar: The user can navigate the map by typing in an address or zip code.
  2. Officer Involved Shootings: The user will be able to toggle an officer involved shooting layer from 2000-2011, which will appear color coded by year. Each icon will have an info window that contains a description of the incident.
  3. Neighborhood Characterization: We compiled a layer of attributes including sums of demographics, crime counts and officer involved shooting counts to provide a characterization of each neighborhood. When the user clicks on a neighborhood (or searches for a neighborhood), a series of charts will pop up in the accordion style menu to show potential demographic and crime correlations with officer involved shootings

B. Updated Wireframe diagram


C. Current Development Status

  1. Here is the full site.
  2. In ArcMap we created an mxd layer with sums of demographic, crime and officer involved shooting data for each neighborhood in San Francisco, in preparation for making charts, using Google Charts API. We authored the layer in ArcGIS server and published the layer on our map
  3. We are cleaning up our code, removing the google places API and crimespotting API. We merged all of the OIS layers by year into one layer.
  4. We are adding a search bar for the user to search by location and modified the colors and layout of the site
  5. We began making demographic/crime statistics charts for each of the neighborhoods.

G. Challenges Issues

  • Making each neighborhood un-highlight whenever we click on another one
  • Formatting and presenting chart data
  • Presenting the most intuitive way to organize the buttons on the sidebar for our layers
  • Spiffing up the design
  • Figuring out why only 100-200 crimes show up from the crimespotting API when there should be 23,000


To make the Mar Vista bus route proposal more interesting and appealing we changed the layout of the site, added selectable demographic layers from census tract data. We also added visual representations of this data for each census tract.

The user also has the option of searching by address or zipcode under the Bus Routes and Businesses Tab.

The website is here.


The full page of the proposed metro line is shown here

The proposed metro stops would complement the eastbound/westbound bus stops of the existing 733/704/33/4 metro lines. Extending all night service to these neighborhoods would encourage travel to downtown and beaches in these isolated neighborhoods. Furthermore, it would encourage local business growth in this low density commercial zone, especially at Venice and McLaughlin where the Quick Pick Market is the only nearby market.

The overlap of stops at Mclaughlin/Venice and Barrington/Santa Monica is intentional and will serve as key transfer points for beach/downtown travelers. Furthermore, the proposed expo line would add a speedier option for travelers living closer to the rancho park neighborhood.


The full site is available here

With limited metro stops in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, access to supermarkets and other businesses is limited to citizens with cars. Furthermore, access to other parts of the west Los Angeles area and Santa Monica is limited without a car and difficult after hours. This map shows how the creation of five new metro stops could increase access to transportation such as the expo line and businesses such as Whole Foods, which is on the perimeter of the Mar Vista Neighborhood. Lastly, this new bus line could revitalize a run-down shopping center on Venice Blvd and McLaughlin Ave.

Week 1: Site Review – Modeling Bird Distribution Responses to Climate Change

url: http://data.prbo.org/cadc2/index.php?page=154

This site is published by the California Avian Data Center and is a tool for researchers/land managers to determine species sensitivity to climate change based on a number of variables such as vegetation and precipitation. Environmental variables were manipulated to create layers using ESRI software. There is a pan and zoom feature that allows you to focus in on certain areas, which is very helpful since the probability of occurrence colors are difficult to read overlaid on the terrain map, which is a similar yellowish color.

Some aesthetic aspects of the map don’t make sense as the picture of the species is relatively large compared to the maps themselves. It is clear this tool is only useful to a bird expert since a baseline knowledge of each species is necessary to understand the changes in habitat suitability. The map does offer a link to a more detailed description of the species. Honestly, this doesn’t make too much sense since I would only imagine someone with bird expertise would use such a site. Overall, the map could be a useful tool to someone with a very discriminating eye, but it has little use for the public and this tool could be greatly improved to make its use more efficient.

Week 1: Site Review – Oakland Crimespotting

Oakland Crimespotting is an alternative to Oakland Crimewatch. Crimespotting doesn’t require flash and is an interactive site that allows the user to explore and focus on different neighborhoods in Oakland. As you explore the map, you can share links with other users that show the specific crime and date/time/area range you are interested in viewing.

Crime data is available in microtime, which can be adjusted with the “time pie” and it is also available in macrotime over years/months through use of the time bar in the bottom of the page. Each crime is color coated circles; however, developers of the site are exploring other ways of showing the data through heat maps, for example.

This site is intuitive and flawless. Each crime has a link to police reports. The pan and zoom function make this site easy to use and find relevant crimes in their neighborhoods. This is a useful planning tool as well as an efficient way to organize and analyze crime data.

Since the goal is to give the public access to this data, the developers did a good job.