Spatial Analysis of Surveyed Perceptions of Safety, Crime, and Lighting: A College Campus Case Study

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James Shaw Waynick (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Christopher Badurek

Abstract: With recent crime incidents at universities highlighted through the media, campus safety is of increasing importance to universities today. This research examines spatiotemporal relationships between surveyed perceptions of safety, reported incidents of crime, and exterior lighting. A GIS was used to digitize data from student surveys into digital points. Spatial analysis tools were used to convert these points into an enhanced campus perception of safety density surface. These point data were analyzed with spatial statistics tools in the CrimeStat application to examine relationships between daytime, nighttime, sexes, and other spatiotemporal characteristics. The perception points were compared with actual campus crime locations and the spatial extent of exterior illumination. The daytime perception data yielded results primarily and unexpectedly related to foot-traffic and transportation safety while the nighttime data related to more classic safety concerns. Results from this study suggest a high level of clustering of perceptions of unsafe areas but these do not necessarily correlate with areas in which crime actually occurs. However, there were similarities between poor lighting conditions and unsafe perceptions. Results from this study may potentially be used to create a safer real and perceived environment for students as well as offer a more focused crime prevention régime.

Additional Information

Waynick, J.S. (2010). Spatial Analysis of Surveyed Perceptions of Safety, Crime, and Lighting: A College Campus Case Study. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010
GIS, Perceptions of Safety, Geospatial Modeling, College Campus, Environmental Design

Email this document to