Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wildcard queries

Late last week, the Omega Group, makers of the CrimeView suite of products we use, announced a small addition to their web-based mapping product, CrimeView Dashboard: Wildcard Query.  This new feature allows users to add an ad hoc search with a wildcard within any field in the data, even one composed of unstructured text.  Let's say, for instance, that for some inexplicable reason you wanted to map the location of crimes committed with pumpkins.  Our crime data has fields for the mechanism of vandalism, and for weapons and projectiles, but "pumpkin" is not one of the values in the entry table.  The data does, however, include a 60 character comments field that summarizes the crime, and searching within that field for the term "pumpkin" would produce the map in a jiffy.

This isn't entirely new to LPD, as our records management system has always had this capability, but still, it's pretty nice if you want to do something like quickly map the location of the car/bicycle traffic crashes this year (78), or make a map of the home addresses of the registered sex offenders named "Bill" (4).

Exploring the function of the new feature, I ran a query for iCrimes this year, a topic I blogged about years ago, and one that still surfaces in the news from time to time.

Apple products of the iP* variety have figured in 471 crimes in Lincoln thus far in 2012.  The larcenies and burglaries are pretty obvious, and you can figure out scenarios pretty easily for the frauds, robberies, and auto thefts.  How, though, would an iPhone figure into a child abuse case?


ARRRRG!!!! said...

I did a wildcard search for Pirate pumpkin and this one was my favorite.

Steve said...

That's an easy one, Tom. I can't even remember how many times I've heard some adult tell some kid, "If you don't put the cell phone away, I'm going to shove it up your ..."