One I have not seen is "proximity to major arterials". Sometimes crime concentrates around major streets and parking lots where cars can be stolen or broken into. (The OP mentions "grand theft from locked auto" as being ~10% of crimes, for example.)
Another common crime, shoplifting and petty thefts, occurs around strips of shops, urban malls, transit stations, or bus stops.
These crimes really don't have to do with altitude, and they are common enough to really affect results. The reason I know this is by inspecting the LAPD compstat maps, which are superior, in many ways, to the linked one. One place to see them is:
This is Hollywood. You can notice the concentration of crimes along Hollywood Blvd, or the other major east-west streets. (The zoom tool is on the right, and it may be good to increase the time span to a month.) Inspecting the causes show they are often thefts from vehicles, etc., as mentioned above.
But then again, the crime rates in Outer Sunset are relatively low as well, and they are at roughly sea level, and they are at stark contrast to SOMA, etc.
Mind you, the houses in that area start at $900k for 2br/1ba houses, and 1.2M for 3/2 of reasonable size. There are very large houses as well for $2M+, especially in St. Francis Wood, and Forest Hill.
In reality though, it isn't as simple as that. Sure, I don't want to be shot. I also don't want other people to be shot a lot in my neighborhood. If I walk to work and see a car parked on the street has been broken into, that bothers, even though my car is in a secure parking garage.
I don't want to be the victim of crime, but I also don't want to live amidst crime. I don't want to see it, I don't want to hear about it, and I don't want to think about it. Crime per km^2 is nearly as important to me as crime per capita.
In the same year, Gary IN had 0.23 murders per square kilometer (30 murders in 129 sq km of land).
Do you feel 2.5 times higher to be murdered in NYC than you do in Gary, IN?
For comparison with the traditional per-100,000-people rates, NYC had a rate of 6.3 in 2011 versus 37.2 in Gary.
I don't think the common thief is wandering about on billionaire-row. I think this has more to do with wealth than land-elevation itself.
It was way safer than any of the three directions that went down hill (i.e. towards Market, towards the Embarcadero or towards fisherman's wharf). There was also a notable absence of beggars. I think there really is something to it just being too much of a PITA to hike up all those hills.
To your point on mean versus median, I agree that median is more accurate. Even better would be homeless %, or % under poverty.
That doesn't necessarily mean more crime, nor does it necessarily mean an identical mix of crime. That's a big part of why it would be so interesting to take a look.
I really like the work here. Very cool graph and visualization, and if there are things I'd like to see, it's not that they are "missing", it's that the approach is triggering some ideas for how to look at and interpret the data.
In fact, the data shows that if anything, introducing more transit will reduce crime.
Careful. The provision of new or improved public transport facilities often coincides with, or precedes, the gentrification of an area.
I'd hypothesize this is the more significant causal mechanism at play; ne'er-do-wells driven out of an area by higher property prices.
Bayview/HP aren't even that isolated -- the T muni line goes there, along with lots of buses.
At some level it's inconvenient to go anywhere in SF, but Pac Heights isn't too hard to get to by transit. The Marina is low elevation, but separated by some hills, but even that isn't inaccessible.
Notice the street. I'd say that financial crime is more likely to be done by Uber riders than bus riders in SF!
Anyway, I wager that much insider trading is done from home rather than in the office. It is safer that way.
I'd like to see this applied to other hilly cities. Great work!
I'll bet that "climbs" ...
But sure, I would expect that white collar crime is unsurprisingly correlated.
Maybe not though - boiler room style phone banks of investor fraudsters are a stereotype for a reason, and those aren't necessarily the high rent end of town.
Think of elevation maps and how you would select out one range of elevation at a time - you'd end up with donut like rings. You wouldn't mark an area as 500 feet and show all the rings for 500 feet and up. Doing this makes it seem like there are far more crimes than actual for the lower levels.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive causal analysis. You try to control for land mass, but don't really mention anything else that might indicate elevation to be a less significant factor and I think that does a great disservice to what otherwise is an interesting exercise.
Does anyone know where you can get a simplified CBG data dump? All you would need are boundaries and population.
I can't say I see a definite correlation with altitude: areas that are more secluded from the main SF buzz like the Marina and the west coast show very little crime, and they are basically at sea level.
- the derivative of elevation (i.e. the slope)
- the street lightning
"I don't think the article is trying to claim that elevation magically has a causal impact on crime rates. It just shows that there is a correlation and claims nothing more. The point is that there IS some underlying root cause (or an extreme coincidence) and that is an interesting point in and of itself."
(I'm only ~halfway through the JS course on CodeCademy and don't know much else programming related).
After that I closed the page.