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Spatial Technology With an Emphasis on Remote Sensing Applications for Safety and Security for Macro Level Analysis

NCJ Number
Acta Criminologica Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: 2009 Pages: 25-36
C. Eloff; J. Prinsloo
Date Published
This article describes how remote sensing technology integrated with geographical information systems (GIS) that are overlaid with geocoded data can provide a spatial technological basis for assessing security issues related to macro-level land uses.
The success of many applications of remote sensing is improved significantly by taking a multiple-view approach to data collection. This may involve multistage sensing wherein data about a site are collected from multialtitudes. It may involve multispectral sensing, whereby data are acquired simultaneously in several spectral bands. It may also involve multitemporal sensing, whereby data about a site are collected on more than one occasion. Subsequently, the GIS environment permits the synthesis, analysis, and communication of virtually unlimited sources and types of biophysical and socioeconomic data, provided that it can be geographically referenced. Remote sensing can be viewed as the "eyes" of such systems, providing repeated, synoptic visions of earth sources from an aerial or space vantage point. GIS, on the other hand, is "a system of hardware, software, data, people organizations, and institutional arrangements for collecting, storing, analyzing, and disseminating information about areas of the earth" (Lillesand and Kiefer, 1994). Baseline, thematic, and topographic maps are essential for planning, evaluating, and monitoring security-related information. The aforementioned tools allow crime to be analyzed and countered more effectively through understanding land-use behavior. The displacement and diffusion of crime patterns in relation to land-use classes and the changes associated with it enable the crime analyst to understand the correlation between specific crimes, their environment, and human behavior in relation to a land-use class. A multisensor approach can also be used as a spatial strategy for monitoring specific border areas where the delineation of border trails and the automation of change detection can provide useful information for law enforcement agencies in identifying illegal cross-border activities. 5 figures and 17 references