Using GIS to Analyze Twenty-Two Years of Homicides from 1990 to 2012 in the State of Minnesota

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Resource Analysis, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, U.S.

2 Criminologist, Author and Principal Researcher, Center for Homicide Research, U.S.

3 Assistant Professor of Social Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences. Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Crime against all classes of individuals is a serious social problem. In the United States, the percentage of total hate crimes committed against victims increased to 18.8 percent in 2009, the highest percentage in ten years. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some men and women have frequently been the second most common victim of hate crime over the past decade. The purpose of this research was to provide an overview of statistical and spatial analyses of twenty-two years of homicides from 1990 to 2012 in the state of Minnesota. According to the research, approximately 90.4 percent of homicides happened between 1990 and 2001 and 9.6 percent happened between the years 2001 and 2012. The most important goal was to compare patterns of homicides through five key elements (ID of victims (groups), Race of victims, Sex of victims, Weapon used, and Cause of Death) within a geographic information system (GIS). The records of homicides in the state of Minnesota demonstrated how geographic analysis conducted within a GIS can assist in the investigation of homicide and how GIS can provide useful tools and techniques to visualize and analyze spatial data.