SpotCrime.com discusses the design issues of relaying crime data to citizens, and the stickier wicket of getting timely public information from a public agency that's headed by people determined to contract with some friend-of-a-friend's-friend's for-profit company instead of releasing the information via free, public, no-barrier channels. 'Splains SpotCrime:
"We only see crime data delivered openly when a public agency - not commercial company - elects to use this method. Private crime mapping companies have an incentive to balkanize the data they are contracted to publicize (typically funded by taxpayers) and limit entities from sharing this data (the same entities who are paying taxes). They may come across as open, however, they typically add a lengthy terms of service agreement to their maps and websites - ostensibly asking each citizen to agree to a contract before viewing public crime data. These terms of service agreements have no public value. They not only inhibit the press from republishing the data, but also serve to restrict public sharing of crime data."