Criminology and Economic Theory
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Criminology and Economic Theory
In search of viable criminological theory
Curated by Rob Duke
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Lead Water Pipes Linked To Higher Murder Rates

Lead Water Pipes Linked To Higher Murder Rates | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Research shows historical homicide rates in the U.S. rose with lead levels in drinking water.
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Rob Duke's comment, April 26, 2016 12:36 PM
For years we had the Donahue-Levitt Hypothesis that crime fell due to Roe vs. Wade. Legal abortions was supposedly responsible for all the little future criminals being aborted before they grew up. The theory nearly fit with the crime data, but for Alaska that legalized abortion a few years ahead of the landmark court case (Roe). Alaska's crime rate should have fallen before everyone else's, but it didn't....this led us to believe something else was at stake. That something else may be lead, because just about the time the EPA and CAFE (California) outlawed lead in gasoline, which greatly reduced the lead we breathed, crime fell. Notably places where lead remains high in the soil (due to factories, or simply lacking grass to cover the soil), violent crime remains high.
Trevor Norris's comment, April 27, 2016 11:42 PM
I believe you mentioned that rats that were fed food laced with traces of lead also exhibited violent behavior. Maybe that is why some types of fishing is referred to as "combat fishing". Anyway, it's interesting that something as simple as removing lead from gasoline can reduce crime. It makes you wonder what other things out there may be affecting people's behavior, other than drugs.
max mckernan's comment, May 6, 2016 6:03 PM
UAF has learned this as well because they just switched over their water system. lead is not a good thing to have in your system because it can directly effect your brain function
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Alaska's heroin scourge: Opioid task force might be the solution the state needs to battle the epidemic

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial: Deaths nationwide from opioid overdoses are at a record high. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this year called attention to the alarming
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Trevor Norris's comment, April 27, 2016 11:47 PM
My guess is that this plays a part in the push to allow the use of Narcan, the "miracle" drug that can immediately reverse the effects of opioids to be sold over the counter and made more readily available. It has been confirmed that this has prevented people from overdosing on drugs like heroin. It's amazing how far medical drugs have come in terms of engineering and technology.
Raquel Young's comment, May 3, 2016 3:54 AM
This is crazy and the one about the daughter shooting up her father. wow. its is a real issue that needs to be fix but we need to help out and not just sit back and watch it happen.
max mckernan's comment, May 6, 2016 6:20 PM
I think that an opioid task force would be a good thing. because police are no longer worrying about marijuana they might as well put their efforts elsw where trying to stop hard drugs
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Outwitting poachers with artificial intelligence | NSF - National Science Foundation

Outwitting poachers with artificial intelligence | NSF - National Science Foundation | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Army Research Office, researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) and game theory to solve poaching, illegal logging and other problems worldwide, in collaboration with researchers and conservationists in the U.S., Singapore, Netherlands and Malaysia.

"In most parks, ranger patrols are poorly planned, reactive rather than pro-active, and habitual," according to Fei Fang, a Ph.D. candidate in the computer science department at the University of Southern California (USC).
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pdeppisch's comment, April 24, 2016 12:12 PM
That would have been my guess :(
Courtney Antilla's comment, April 28, 2016 11:42 PM
It is good to see technology being used to fight crime like this.
Garry Rogers's comment, April 29, 2016 9:30 AM
Courtney; Yes it is. So much crime, and most of it has been legalized by the criminal influence on our governments (ivory sales, zoos, whale hunting, wildlife trophies, animal experimentation, . . . .
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Shakespeare Or Batman? That Is The Question

Shakespeare Or Batman? That Is The Question | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
QUOTE CORRECTLY ANSWERED 1 As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods — they kill us for their sport. 75.2% 2 I will not become an executioner. 73.3 3 Weep I ca…
Rob Duke's insight:
Just for fun...
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max mckernan's comment, May 6, 2016 6:24 PM
this was relatively easy i have unfortunately read alot of Shakespeare so i can identify his style easy
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Why Mass Incarceration Doesn’t Pay

Why Mass Incarceration Doesn’t Pay | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The costs of our tough sentencing laws have come to outweigh the benefits. It is time to reform them.
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malek's comment, April 28, 2016 2:57 PM
moving from retribution to rehabilitation is aspirational. On the tactical side, we need to stop sending minor crimes offender to jail
Rob Duke's comment, April 28, 2016 3:40 PM
Yeah, couldn't agree more. Restorative Justice and Therapeutic Jurisprudence are showing promise to interrupt offending without prison or jail. Simply introducing offenders to victims often results in the offender being forced to abandon justifications that he/she had been taught from an early age. Once we change the hearts and minds, the behavior change is almost automatic....
pdeppisch's comment, April 28, 2016 5:49 PM
Yes - good point, re: introducing the offender to the victims. Also finding a suitable "community work" to repay society along with learning new skill for minor crimes is super idea.
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How a Child Predator was Caught by a Tiny Clue in the Photo He Posted Online

How a Child Predator was Caught by a Tiny Clue in the Photo He Posted Online | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
In a bathroom, the predator has placed a child on the counter to photograph his evil acts.

In the background of the photo, which was posted online, are products including prescription medication.

But zooming in on that pill bottle makes the details unreadable.

In a small, dark lab Jim Cole, special agent and supervisor of Victim Identification at the Homeland Security Investigations Cyber Crimes Center gets to work using the latest technology available.

Using technology to identify abusers

“Utilizing some technology that hadn’t even been released to the public yet we were able to take a look at the bottle and reverse out some of the motion blur,” Cole said.
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Trevor Norris's comment, April 27, 2016 11:54 PM
This seems like something I have only seen in the movies. It's awesome that this technology is becoming a reality.When it is released to the public, however, it will be interesting to see how it is used.
Courtney Antilla's comment, April 28, 2016 11:52 PM
Suddenly CSI doesn't look so faked. Pretty incredible that they could get so much information off one picture. This also service as a lesson for everyone about the potential dangers of posing pictures online. People can get all kinds of information from social media posts.
max mckernan's comment, May 6, 2016 6:30 PM
This is a very interesting way to go about the discovery of an predator. i think that as technology progreses thiis will become more and more common
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Drug Tunnel Found Along US-Mexico Border

Drug Tunnel Found Along US-Mexico Border | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Drug Tunnel Found Along US-Mexico Border
Rob Duke's insight:
...and, there were 180 more before this...how many more are there out there...
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Trevor Norris's comment, April 27, 2016 11:56 PM
IT blows my mind how short these tunnels are in comparison to the size of the border, but once underground, building a tunnel like this discreetly for its length seems like an impossible task. I don't understand how nobody would notice the amount of dirt that would have to be moved out of the way of the diggers.
max mckernan's comment, May 6, 2016 6:33 PM
these drug tunnels always kind of funny to me because they really dont have to be that big because they just have to get across the boarder. you can bring alot of drugs across the boarder very quickly if law enforcement is looking someplace else
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Norway violated mass killer Breivik's human rights, court rules | Reuters

Norway violated mass killer Breivik's human rights, court rules | Reuters | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
OSLO (Reuters) - Norway violated mass killer Anders Behring Breivik's human rights by keeping him in a "completely locked world" after being sentenced for killing 77 people in twin attacks in 2011, a court ruled on Wednesday.

The ruling, which took many by surprise, found that the killer had been subjected to strip searches, had been woken up hourly by guards for long periods and that the authorities had done little to alleviate the impact of his isolation.

A survivor of Breivik's shooting spree said the decision "feels a bit like being punched in the gut" and a newspaper editorial denounced the decision as "wrong". A law professor said it was likely to be appealed.

Breivik killed eight people in a bomb attack in Oslo in July 2011 before attacking a youth meeting of the Labour Party on an island to the northwest of the capital, killing 69 people.

He took Norwegian authorities to court in March, accusing them of exposing him to inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Rob Duke's insight:
Here's an example of how the EU courts are beginning to encroach on sovereignty.  This will continue to be a problem relevant to the comparative criminology course.
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Scenes From a Pot Farmers' Market - Modern Farmer

Scenes From a Pot Farmers' Market - Modern Farmer | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Northern California’s first pot farmers’ market is like most other farmers’ markets, except you buy weed instead of kale and there’s the possibility you’ll go to prison – which gives visits to the Organicann Harvest Market in Sonoma County a bit of an edge this chilly morning.
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Bulgaria tries to restrain its vigilante “migrant hunters”

Bulgaria tries to restrain its vigilante “migrant hunters” | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
LATE on Saturday morning, on a country road outside the Bulgarian village of Bliznak, ten young men wearing camouflage and combat boots stepped out of their cars, split into groups of three and four, shouted “Long live Bulgaria!” and walked into the woods. The men were volunteers with the Organisation for the Protection of Bulgarian Citizens (OPBC), a year-old civic group based in the coastal city of Burgas that organises tree-planting campaigns and sports leagues—and, since last September, patrols to catch migrants along the Turkish border. It refers to the patrols as “hikes in the woods” to avoid trouble with the police: citizen arrests are illegal under Bulgarian law.

“If even one in ten migrants is a terrorist and we catch him, we can save thousands of lives,” says Biser Rusimov. The 30-year-old Mr Rusimov, who works for a company that sells yacht ropes, has the words “Freedom or Death” tattooed on his back, a slogan dating from Bulgaria’s 19th-century struggle for independence from Ottoman rule. He believes he is doing the government a favour: “We want the state to stop the migrants, but since this is not happening, we want to help.”
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“Boy” smells like disillusioned teen spirit

“Boy” smells like disillusioned teen spirit | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
IN EVERY city you see them. The young men with nowhere to go and nothing to do. They are not unique to London, or Paris or Rio; each country, unhappy in its own way, has its own means of production. They are the world’s problem demographic, caught between childhood and adulthood, care and responsibility, education and application. Wherever there is poverty and inequality, young men are waiting, ready to explode. Wherever there are cracks, they will be falling through them.
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Patrick Nestor's comment, April 21, 2016 7:00 PM
Makes me wonder if this sort of disillusionment is particularly prevalent in this generation, or was equally as common in the days of our grandparents.
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How the FBI uses facial recognition technology to fight crime

How the FBI uses facial recognition technology to fight crime | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The bureau says using biometrics is crucial, but critics call it an Orwellian intrusion.
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Mary Dombroski's comment, April 21, 2016 4:57 PM
This is awesome, but I see the downside it will pose in the near future as the database includes photos of those who haven't even committed a crime. It did what it was meant to do in this case, but yet another intrusion into our lives I'm sure won't have all of us as happy.
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Serious flaws in government's statistics? | ilegal

Serious flaws in government's statistics?  | ilegal | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Have we unearthed some serious flaws in the  government's statistics?  Why yes I do believe we have.... So far on the ilegal's mylegal forum we have taken a very close look at

Via britishroses
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Eight Members of Ohio Family Dead in 'Execution-Style' Killings

Eight Members of Ohio Family Dead in 'Execution-Style' Killings | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Seven of the victims were adults and the eighth was a male 16-year-old, DeWine said. None of them died by suicide, he added.

The victims were found at four different crime scenes. Three were in a one mile radius of each other. The fourth was 10 minutes away, the lawmen said. Some of the victims were killed in their beds, officials said.

As of 9 p.m. Friday, no suspects were arrested but at least 30 people had been interviewed, Reader and DeWine said.

"We have a specific family that has been targeted," Reader said. The sheriff's office was working with family members to provide protection as a hunt for the killer or killers continued.
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Samantha Jones's comment, April 24, 2016 2:10 PM
WOW! we do not see killings like this. I am glad to see that they did not kill the baby I wonder how long it will take to find these killers/killer. The article does not say what sort of profession the family was in, maybe one of them was a public figure for Ohio.
Trevor Norris's comment, May 1, 2016 7:59 PM
I am looking forward to seeing where this investigation goes, especially with a drug cartel potentially being involved.
Raquel Young's comment, May 3, 2016 3:50 AM
this is crazy.
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Legislature passes bill authorizing national background checks for pot businesses

Legislature passes bill authorizing national background checks for pot businesses | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The bill authorizes the Marijuana Control Board to conduct national background checks on business applicants, a key component for the entity tasked with approving the first licenses in Alaska’s fledgling legal cannabis industry. 
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A compassionate judge sentences a veteran to 24 hours in jail, then joins him behind bars

While Serna’s years in combat earned him three Purple Hearts and other military accolades, like many combat vets, he’s been unable to leave the battlefield behind him. Since returning to the U.S., the decorated Green Beret has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, WTVD reported, and been charged with driving under the influence.

He entered the veteran’s treatment court program in Cumberland County, N.C., over which state District Court Judge Lou Olivera presides.

Serna has fought to stay sober, appearing before Olivera 25 times to have his progress reviewed. He confessed to Olivera that he lied about a recent urine test last week, according to WRAL.

In response, Olivera sentenced Serna to one day in jail.

The judge drove Serna to the jail in a neighboring county.

“When Joe first came to turn himself in, he was trembling,” Olivera told the Fayetteville Observer. “I decided that I’d spend the night serving with him.”

“Where are we going, judge?” Serna asked, the Observer’s Bill Kirby Jr., reported Wednesday.
Rob Duke's insight:
RJ/TJ at it's best.
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Mary Dombroski's comment, April 22, 2016 4:18 PM
This is awesome! There was definitely a possibility that spending the night in there alone would trigger his PTSD again. Appearing 25 times is a lot though and I hope this veteran can get the help he desperately needs. This judge though didn't excuse him for lying and still had him pay for it, but had the compassion to do it with him.
Wyatt Duncan's comment, April 26, 2016 3:51 AM
I love stories like this, the compassion that judge basis inspiring. Our veterans are often discredited for the things they see and go through. And do not receive enough support when returning home. God Bless these two.
max mckernan's comment, May 6, 2016 6:22 PM
This is honestly the way justice should be. i think that helping people on an individual level is a very important thing
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In California, Prop 47 has turned into a ‘virtual get-out-of-jail free card’

Under new law, low-level criminals no longer overcrowd the prisons but their cases continue to clog the courts.
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mlsoden's comment, April 23, 2016 11:28 AM
This article details some of the unintended consequences of legislating away jail in the name of reducing prison populations. In California they are seeing a rise in crime rates and a revolving door of criminals who have no incentive to change their behavior. We could be facing the same issues here in Alaska given the new bail schedules that have recently been enacted by the State courts and the impending crime bill working its way through the legislature. In both California’s case and ours there is no thought to how to effectively deal with criminals, just the desire to reduce prison populations. I am not opposed to finding alternatives to prison, I don’t believe that it is particularly effective, but neither Prop 47 in California, or the current programs and proposals in Alaska offer anything in place of prison, they simply let criminal out. If we are going to enact reform and not use prisons then we have to actually create an alternative. Criminals and addicts are not going to change their behavior without some motivation. Humans tend to take the path of least resistance. If we are going to reduce the use of prison then we must mandate the use of alternate methods of behavioral change, either through mandated treatment or restorative justice techniques that work to change behavior and prevent people from re-offending. All I see from current proposals is a way for criminals and addicts to “game” the system and keep victimizing others.
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Licensing Laws Are Shutting Young People Out Of The Job Market

Licensing Laws Are Shutting Young People Out Of The Job Market | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Young people entering the job market have always faced challenges: a lack of skills and experience, limited professional networks, unfamiliarity with workplace culture and expectations. But increasingly, they are also facing another obstacle: legal requirements that can shut off avenues to jobs before they even get the chance to apply. New data reveals just how widespread the problem is, and also why the trend isn’t likely to reverse anytime soon.

At issue are occupational licensing laws — rules, usually at the state or local level, that require workers to get a government-issued license to hold certain jobs. That makes sense for doctors and accountants, but the requirements are increasingly spreading to barbers, cosmetologists and even landscapers. (The New York Department of Labor lists 130 occupations that require licenses.) In many cases the rules seem designed less to protect consumers than to protect politically connected workers and businesses who want to deter potential competition — what economists call “rent-seeking.” As I wrote back in February, politicians and experts from across the political spectrum are increasingly concerned about the damage licensing and other forms of rent-seeking are doing to the economy.
Rob Duke's insight:
Critical Theory: rent-seeking is when someone puts their thumb on the scale, but denies doing so....  Economies without a level playing field are an increasing problem.
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Courtney Antilla's comment, April 28, 2016 11:48 PM
I had never heard of this sort of thing happening. Not encouraging while trying to find a job in the field. I also do not like the sound of more and more jobs needing government licenses.
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Volkswagen reaches U.S. deal over emissions scandal

Volkswagen reaches U.S. deal over emissions scandal | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Volkswagen agreed Thursday to fix or buy back nearly 500,000 diesel cars in the United States that are equipped with illegal emissions software.
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max mckernan's comment, May 6, 2016 6:26 PM
i thought that this case was rather funny to start with because VW got away with it for so long. frankly i think that this is on the govenment for not detecting it sooner
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All the Fun Things Anders Breivik Can Do in His ‘Inhumane’ Prison

All the Fun Things Anders Breivik Can Do in His ‘Inhumane’ Prison | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Mass murderer of children gets a computer, a PlayStation, and his own kitchen—but that’s not enough for the Norway court that called his prison conditions ‘degrading.’
Rob Duke's insight:
Oh, and he gets a computer, playstation, visitors, but he wants to have freedom of movement, too.  This is the dark side of a non-punitive system--offenders begin to game the system.
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mlsoden's comment, April 23, 2016 11:38 AM
“Our best weapon in fighting extremism is humanity,”

This is quote from one of the survivors of this monsters mass killing. I admire a person who can survive something as horrible as this and still find compassion for the person that committed the crime. I don’t share their feeling completely. I cannot find it in myself to forgive people like Anders for their actions, especially when they seem to have no remorse or reason outside their control, such as delusional mental illness. This man hates others and felt that it was his right to commit these acts and yet the Norwegian system allows him to have 3 private rooms, computers and leisure activities. I don’t condone the harassment, I understand the desire of those corrections officers but it is wrong. This man should not be living comfortably though. He should be working hard labor doing menial tasks. I like the idea of making someone like him move heavy rocks from one pile to another and then moving them back again, over and over for the 21 years that he is in jail. There are some people who are not capable of rehabilitation and we need to recognize that and simply punish them.
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Police hunt suspect in SWAT gear after woman found dead in Texas church | Fox News

Police hunt suspect in SWAT gear after woman found dead in Texas church | Fox News | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Authorities in Texas were searching for a man dressed in SWAT gear after a fitness trainer and mother of three was found murdered inside a church Monday.
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Trevor Norris's comment, April 27, 2016 11:58 PM
This is terrible. When people impersonate officers and exploit or harm people, it only adds to the distrust and divide this country is facing over law enforcement.
Courtney Antilla's comment, April 28, 2016 11:59 PM
Impersonating a police officer is awful. How scary would it be for people in that town to not know what police officers can be trusted or not.
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3 charged in Flint water crisis

Criminal charges against three men in Michigan on Wednesday marked a milestone in a crisis that's been years in the making, potentially harmed tens of thousands of people and cast a harsh spotlight on infrastructure issues across the country. .
Rob Duke's insight:
Altered documents; money saving measures counter to health concerns...this is a unique set of facts, but some white collar guys being held accountable for a green collar crime.
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U.S. Opens Investigation Into Panama Papers Revelations

U.S. Opens Investigation Into Panama Papers Revelations | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
U.S. Attorney for Manhattan Preet Bharara is initiating a criminal investigation into matters detailed in the Panama Papers leak
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Some major merchants see dip in counterfeit fraud thanks to chip cards, Visa says

Some major merchants see dip in counterfeit fraud thanks to chip cards, Visa says | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The new chip enabled cards flowing into the U.S. marketplace have already made a dent in fraud, with some of the biggest merchants seeing a dip of more than 18% in counterfeit transactions, according to Visa.
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Mary Dombroski's comment, April 21, 2016 4:43 PM
This is certainly good, however, where there's a will, there's a way.... As new technology unfolds, ways to get around it also will.
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What's New in ArcGIS Online

Bern Szukalski shares his highlights from the latest release of ArcGIS Online.

Via Seth Dixon
Rob Duke's insight:
This is one of the main programs you need to learn to be ready to work as a crime analyst....
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 11, 2016 4:35 PM

This video is a great way to find out what is new in ArcGIS online this month.  Some of the capabilities highlighted in this 10 minute video are:

  • New oceans layers
  • Drag and drop route change ability
  • Living Atlas – multidirectional hillshade, USA geologic units, drag layers to basemap (make custom basemap)
  • Vector tile basemaps
  • Compare 2 3D scenes
  • 3D in Web App Builder
  • Multiple attributes for symbolization
  • Predominance Mapping
  • Auto-play for storymaps

 

Tags: GIS, ESRIvideo, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, April 19, 2016 7:11 PM
I am just interested on what all these things tell us. ArcGIS is amazing new software which improves all the time. So much more we can do with Geography !!