WRAL.com now features SpotCrime.com to help keep viewers informed of crime in their area.
SpotCrime.com, which launched on July 17, 2009, allows residents of select areas in North Carolina to see crimes and arrests plotted on Google maps. The maps display icons to represent the types of crimes occurring. A fist, for example, represents an assault, while a can of spray paint indicates vandalism.
Visitors can zoom into neighborhoods to see reported crimes near where they live and work, or near where their children attend school. Zooming out allows visitors to see crime patterns within regions of a city or county.
Additionally, SpotCrime allows visitors to sign up for e-mail alerts based on their street address. SpotCrime will only send an e-mail when crimes are reported within a two-mile radius of the subscriber’s address. More than 500 WRAL.com visitors have already signed up.
SpotCrime.com is the brainchild of Colin Drane, whose Baltimore-based company has partnered with more than 50 media companies. Drane and his team acquire data feeds from law enforcement agencies throughout the country and plot literally millions of data points on Google maps to present a visual representation of crime in various communities across the country.
Some agencies are better than others at providing a timely data feed. The Raleigh Police Department updates its feed of crime data daily; other agencies, such as Cary Police, update feeds weekly. Some agencies offer no feeds at all. WRAL.com is working with SpotCrime to add data for more communities in the viewing area such as Chapel Hill, Sanford, Wilson and Rocky Mount.
The SpotCrime data has not only been popular with visitors, it also has benefited the page’s sponsor, 123nc.com. The campaign, which features the morphing mug shot of WRAL-TV’s Dante Genua, generated a click-through rate for the client that is more than 10 times the site average for all creative.
Thanks to CBC NMG’s John Conway for this capcom story & graphic.