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As to complexity, a key to success is being able to
use the same map to solve different problems and to
be able to use different maps with the same information
to accomplish different tasks or to focus on different
aspects of the same task.
1. Route maps show highways, locations and assets
relative to a location in real time. Used for dispatch.
2. Pin maps show locations, highways, and assets
relative to an incident type and perhaps a person
of interest. Used for crime analysis.
3. Thematic maps show assets, locations, persons
of interest, etc., relative to a related theme.
Think jail cells, who is in them, and what is
the relationship of the persons in them (eg,
gang members). Used for asset management.
4. Full visualizations of real locations and
assets are often used for scenario simulation
and mission planning (think 3D with a real time
interface). The Planet9 eScene application is
Note the relative costs for creating and maintaining
each of these maps as evaluated by the need for
real time information vs non-real-time analysis and planning.
These maps or representations can share the same data
sources and that is where the backend server design and
message design are paramount.
Tufte has thoughts about which of these are appropriate
for some given task. Eliminate everything that isn't
relevant information. My advice is also to learn the
value of outliers given clustered representations.
From: Joshua Allen [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Some background: a public safety system can be seen as
> multiple information ecosystems and technologies that
> exchange information to prevent crime, solve crime, and
Yes, people thinking about "systems" often tend to think in terms of a
big machine, and deemphasize the characteristics of a dynamic system of
interacting pieces. The various and incompatible methods used to hook
all of this stuff together, and the combinatorial complexity leads to
some interesting situations. The complexity comes in at the