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Geographic Information Systems

Maryland Highway Safety Office

GIS is a versatile and highly adaptive technology that can be applied to virtually any field. From history to biology, from medicine to criminology, GIS makes data come to life, and we can help you find ways to make GIS work for you.

Washington College’s Crime Mapping and Analysis Program (CMAP) were awarded two grants from the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) to provide impaired driving analysis and traffic records improvement. To support both of these efforts, teams of professional staff and students were created to tackle both programs. Collaboration with law enforcement, government agencies, and other universities has been the key to providing the level of support required for these grants. 

Impaired Driving Analysis

 Washington College was awarded a grant to work with MHSO and the Maryland State Police (MSP) to provide data and analysis to support MSP’s newly created DUI detachment. The mission of the DUI detachment is to reduce impaired driving in the Baltimore and D.C. metropolitan areas of Maryland. To support this effort,  analyst at Washington College are using multiple data sources to develop a linear risk terrain model, to help identify road segments that should be targeted for saturation patrols in order to reduce DUI incidents.

The goal of this collaboration between Washington College and the Maryland State Police is to provide MSP and MHSO with weekly geospatial analysis reports to help aid the newly created DUI detachment unit. In addition to working with MSP, we receive data from a variety of law enforcement agencies throughout the state in order to create the most effective analyses possible. It is our goal to better enable the Maryland State Police to reduce impaired driving in the state of Maryland.

In order to best understand DUI incidents, our analysts work in conjunction with members of the Maryland Highway Safety Office, Maryland State Police, Prince George’s County Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, Howard County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, as well as additional law enforcement agencies. These agencies provide us with various datasets including: ETIX citation data, crash data from the State Highway Administration (SHA), liquor license information, parole and probation reports, and alcohol incident reports. We take the information contained in these datasets to build a visual representation of crash sites and the factors involved in them.

Traffic Records Improvement 

Washington College was awarded a grant to provide support staff to the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) to improve accessibility to traffic safety data and to improve statewide traffic safety data completeness and accuracy. The program focuses on three main objectives: provide MHSO with maps of crash data and citation data for use in program planning and evaluation by MHSO and their partners; provide training to traffic safety professionals on use of GIS analytical tools; and increase the completeness and accuracy of statewide crash data as well as improve accuracy of citation data. This project will improve the accuracy, completeness, and accessibility of traffic safety data that Maryland needs to identify priorities for national, state and local highway and traffic safety programs.

The team at Washington College has been working closely with Baltimore City to improve and complete the location information of crashes in the city. Baltimore City does not use SHA’s roadway inventory, so the best way to locate their crashes is to provide an x/y location. Once these crashes are collected and updated, Washington College will work with SHA to update the statewide crash file with these completed crash records. Washington College has also been working closely with Prince George’s County Police Department and Anne Arundel County Police Department to improve the accuracy of their ETIX citation database by finding x/y locations for those citations with missing spatial coordinates. Updating both crash and citation locations is necessary to provide mapping for law enforcement agencies to use when planning targeted enforcement operations.