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Los Angeles Times today launches its latest multimedia initiative, Crime L.A. (www.latimes.com/crimela), providing detailed crime reports and incident-trend profiles that allow readers to view the information in the context of where they live and work, as well as to share comments and insight.

“Crime L.A. is designed to inform and empower people in cities and neighborhoods across Los Angeles by bringing sophisticated, modern crime analysis to anyone with access to the web,” said Times Editor Russ Stanton. “This ambitious project combines journalism, data and technology to provide crime statistics, locations and context with precision never before available to the public.”

Crime L.A. is built to cover all of Los Angeles County, ultimately, and presently maps the extensive territories served by the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – or 90% of the county and nearly 70% of residents. The Times obtains LAPD and LASD raw data public-record information on homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, grand theft auto, theft, and theft from vehicle incidents. Crime L.A. categorizes each incident, verifies the location, and places it on the map, making it possible to compare neighborhoods, track trends, analyze crime rates per capita, and trigger alerts when there are increases in area activity. The map itself is based on latimes.com’s Mapping L.A. project which incorporates geographic, demographic, historic and socioeconomic characteristics, and community boundaries established with the assistance of Times readers.

“Reporting issues important to our community, including crime, has been a core part of The Times’ mission throughout our 128-year history,” said Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein. “Crime L.A. is a first-of-its-kind public resource that brings that tradition into the digital age.”

Produced entirely with open-source software including Django, Google Maps, jQuery, OpenLayers, PostgresSQL, Simile and Timemap, Crime L.A. joins the growing latimes.com Data Desk portfolio that includes The Homicide Report, Hollywood Star Walk, Grading the Teachers, Toyota: Road to Recall, and California’s War Dead.

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