Analyzing Nighttime Crime before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey in Houston, TX

Authors: Jiyoung Lee*, Louisiana State University, Michael Leitner, Louisiana State University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Remote Sensing, Temporal GIS
Keywords: Crime, Nighttime, VIIRS, Hurricane, GIS, Remote Sensing
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The occurrence of an unexpected natural disaster in people’s daily lives can lead to confusion and increases the likelihood of crime. In other words, at the local level, the conditions of disorder are reflected in a variety of ways: the crime rate, extensive illegal activities in public areas, police activities, and so on. A number of studies exist that examine the spatial relationships between crime incidents and natural hazards, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and so on. There are numerous studies related to natural hazards and crimes, but none focusing on the correlation between nighttime crime and natural hazards. The location of crime is important, but the time of crime is also important for crime studies. In addition, vacant houses and blackouts because of a natural disaster can increase the likelihood of nighttime crime. Thus, we analyze nighttime crime in Houston, TX before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey is worth analyzing, because it generated a similar degree of damages as Hurricane Katrina. In addition, we use nighttime light images, which are important data for predicting the difference in human activities before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey.

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