Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Crime maps and home security

This post will be more speculation than announcement. I've recently been alerted to a number of new initiatives that mashup crime with maps. This isn't a totally new idea, my hometown of Berkeley, CA has had an interactive crime map for a few years now, and in the USA at least, newspapers have been reporting police blotters forever, but it does seem to have a new life.

Blog posts like this one from O'Reilly also look at the concept.

Taking it a step further are businesses like the exciting Terabitz are combining this information with real estate listing and other local detail.

What I wonder is how much that will influence people's decisions on how and where they live. I'm guessing it depends, but I've always felt you take the good with the bad. Living in NYC or London may occasionally pose risks, but that hasn't stopped people wanting to live in such vibrant cities.

I would think the best approach is to use these tools to be informed, but follow your heart (or job or school or friends) and live where you like. Better to take a few steps to protect yourself where you want to be, than to be afraid.

So I'm hoping these tools deliver the information as just that - information. People shouldn't live in fear, they should have peace of mind about their homes. And I guess AlertMe might just be a useful tool in this respect.

For more information, see www.alertme.com