Cutting-edge mapping technology is emerging as one of the most important tools for crime investigation and analysis.

The technology is currently being employed by prosecutors in the high profile Peter Slipper fraud case and with great success by New York and Los Angeles police in combatting gang activity.

Esri Australia Geographic Information System (GIS) technology expert Gary Johnson said mapping technology, when used with mobile phone GPS data, can help determine where a person has been and who with.

“The mapping of information – such as GPS phone location data – can help investigators pinpoint suspect’s locations and link them to crimes in the same area,” Mr Johnson said.

“This can provide valuable circumstantial evidence which assists in arrests and convictions.

“Essentially GIS technology brings more clarity to crime-solving because analysts are able to draw links between the geography of suspects, crimes and victims, and link it with behaviour patterns and other historical data.

“In the US the technology is enabling law enforcement agencies to better understand gang movement, motivation and methodology.

“With each layer of information added to the map, a detailed, accurate picture of the situation is painted that ultimately helps investigators crack cases.”

Mr Johnson said mapping technology also provides a common intelligence sharing platform for law enforcement agencies.

“Too often different policing agencies have distinct jurisdictions in which they collect and manage crime-related data,” Mr Johnson said.

“However, State boundaries don’t concern offenders and an agency’s ability to know of similar crimes in adjacent states is limited if it can’t easily draw on intelligence and data beyond these borders.

“GIS technology can be used to store crime-related information in the one database that be instantly accessed via a digital map, analysed and translated into actionable intelligence by various agencies.”