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The Haunting Truth: Crime Mapping Around Cemeteries in New Orleans, Louisiana

Authors: Elizabeth Barrett*, , Allysha Winburn, University of West Florida, John Morgan, University of West Florida
Topics: Urban Geography, Historical Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: cemetery, New Orleans, crime mapping, crime
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Cemeteries have often been considered a place of historical significance. Their spatial and architectural layout can tell us much about the cities that surround them, such as cultural landscape of the residents, and the ways in which that city pays homage to its decedents. For many, cemeteries are a place of respect and serenity where the memory of loved ones can be connected to place and related tactile objects such as headstones and mausoleums. This is often the reason that tourists as well as relatives feel safe to visit the cemeteries often. But, what happens when in a city with a high crime rate? How does crime affect the cemetery and surrounding areas? This study was conducted by reviewing the crime within a half mile radius around several New Orleans, Louisiana cemeteries in the Fall of 2019. First, there was a period of observation, where researchers spent an hour in each space to observe the activities in and around the space. Afterwards, data from the City of New Orleans’ open data portal was geo-coded to see what types of crime was most prevalent in this buffer zone. From there, analysis could then be drawn about the space and which types of crime were most common in the cemeteries. This research will allow the public to be informed of the potential crime they should be on the lookout for when visiting these spaces in New Orleans. Are you ready to hear the haunting truth?

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