CRJS405 Evidence Based Practice

For this discussion, you will research different uses of data visualization in public safety. Select 2 different public safety agencies and find 4 different examples of data visualization. Introduce what you find to your classmates and explain why you believe each of your examples reflects best practices within data visualization.

Click here to see data visualization samples. You may not use this tutorial as your DB5 submission.
Click here to review best practices for creating data visualization pictures or images.


Public safety agencies can use data visualization to help them better understand patterns and trends, make informed decisions, and communicate information effectively. Here are two examples of public safety agencies that use data visualization in different ways:

  1. New York Police Department (NYPD) The NYPD uses data visualization to track crime patterns and to guide their deployment of officers. Four examples of data visualization used by NYPD are:

a. Heat maps: The NYPD uses heat maps to visually represent where crimes are most likely to occur. Heat maps show which areas of the city have the highest crime rates, and where additional police resources might be needed.

b. Line charts: The NYPD uses line charts to track changes in crime rates over time. This allows them to see whether crime is increasing or decreasing in certain areas, and to adjust their policing strategies accordingly.

c. Scatter plots: The NYPD uses scatter plots to identify clusters of crimes in certain areas. This helps them to better understand crime patterns and to focus their efforts on specific locations.

d. Interactive dashboards: The NYPD uses interactive dashboards to provide real-time updates on crime trends and police activities. This allows officers and other stakeholders to quickly access and analyze data, and to make informed decisions based on current information.

All of these data visualizations reflect best practices in data visualization because they are clear, concise, and easy to understand. They use colors and shapes effectively to convey meaning, and they provide enough detail to be informative without overwhelming the viewer.

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) The NHTSA uses data visualization to track traffic safety trends and to guide their development of policies and programs. Four examples of data visualization used by NHTSA are:

a. Bar charts: The NHTSA uses bar charts to compare the number of traffic fatalities and injuries across different states and regions. This allows them to identify areas with higher rates of traffic accidents, and to target their interventions accordingly.

b. Pie charts: The NHTSA uses pie charts to show the proportion of different types of crashes, such as single-vehicle crashes or crashes involving multiple vehicles. This helps them to understand the root causes of accidents and to develop targeted interventions.

c. Geospatial maps: The NHTSA uses geospatial maps to show where traffic accidents are most likely to occur. This helps them to identify areas where additional safety measures, such as speed cameras or traffic signals, may be needed.

d. Interactive data dashboards: The NHTSA uses interactive data dashboards to allow stakeholders to explore and analyze traffic safety data. This allows policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders to examine trends and patterns in the data, and to identify areas where intervention may be needed.

All of these data visualizations reflect best practices in data visualization because they are well-organized, visually appealing, and easy to interpret. They use a variety of chart types and color schemes to convey information effectively, and they provide sufficient context to help viewers understand the significance of the data.

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