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June 2, 2011

Trulia launches CrimeMaps



Part of what people want when they're home- or apartment shopping is a crime-free neighborhood, or at least as little crime as they can get for their budget. So it's no surprise that a real estate search site would incorporate police data into its offerings.

Trulia says it's launching a crime-tracker feature today that aims to let users "explore and compare" incidents in neighborhoods across the country. CrimeMaps will show the most and least common crimes, dangerous intersections and when problems tend to occur, the company says. (Above is a screen shot for part of the Baltimore region.)

Neighborhood Scout is another search site with crime information, but users there are prompted to fill in a city in order to get a list of the neighborhoods with the best crime rates. (Other options: getting the neighborhoods judged best for certain demographics, i.e. families or executives.)

And, of course, there are a variety of places to get crime data outside of the online real estate world, from CrimeReports to Baltimore Sun maps (city, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County so far).

What would you find most helpful?

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 1:00 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Resources for new buyers & owners


Based on that screenshot, it looks like the basic idea is "crime happens in places where people live." You basically have to go to farm country to live *almost* crime-free.

I also think that while these data may be helpful to people moving locally, people relocating from elsewhere would be hard-pressed to interpret their meaning in any real-world, common sense way.

trulia--not helpful, since their crimemaps couldn't actually be found on their website.

Scout-Not bad and actually breaks it down to your neighborhood, area, and state statistics. However, you only get the neighborhood data if you login.

Crimereports--gives you a lot of nothing without logging in.

I like using crime maps. Crime can happen in any neighbourhood, but I'm extra cautious of buying houses in the areas of town that are riddled with dots on the map. Good tool!

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

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