Are there any standard, publicly available symbol sets for crime mapping? What are their intended applications and their strengths and weaknesses?

  • Any reason for the downvote? Just curious--I hope this question was sufficiently clear, on topic, and didn't offend or confuse anybody, but if it did, I would appreciate knowing how to improve future questions.
    – whuber
    Mar 8, 2011 at 20:36

3 Answers 3


Another publicly available symbology set for crime mapping applications is the Crime Mapping Symbology (CMS).


Intended Applications

The Crime Mapping Symbology (CMS) was created to be used in a web mapping environment.
The use of PNGs also allows for many desktop mapping applications to import the symbols for use in a non web environment.


  • The symbol set has been created in PNG format to allow for a broad range of software platforms.

  • The symbols are intended to utilize simple intuitive pictograms that require little training to become familiar with their representations.

  • The symbols are designed to be highly visible against a wide range of vector and raster based backgrounds.


  • The symbols were designed to meet the specific needs for the police forces in Pierce County, Washington rather than the overall crime mapping community. While it was designed to meet the specific needs a particular organization those needs are also shared by many other organizations which might find value in this symbol set.
  • The use of letters as modifiers are based on English words which might be limiting to Non-English based applications.
  • 1
    Darin, thank you for being responsive and quickly adpating your contributions to suit the style used here. Welcome to GIS.se :) Mar 7, 2011 at 23:19
  • It's hard to select one "best" response because all are valid and of interest. This one deserves credit for most clearly laying out strengths and weaknesses.
    – whuber
    Mar 10, 2011 at 18:49
  • 1
    Unfortunately the site emsymbology is dead, but symbols may still be downloaded from projects.masas-sics.ca/news/1372
    – haakon_d
    Apr 24, 2017 at 6:41
  • projects.masas-sics.ca is also down
    – til_b
    May 13 at 8:12

Not a Standard but possible the nearest to it:

But ESRI have re-vamped symbol sets and crime mapping has been added. http://mappingcenter.esri.com/index.cfm?fa=arcgisResources.gateway

Application: ESRI, Web Mapping


Strengths - Freely available

Weakness - not defined - too general

Types (Homicide, Narcotics, Misdemeanor, Felony is US based - it doesn't exist in European/UK law Murder, Manslaughter, Drug, Serious Crime is)

*Not a lawyer/solicitor/barrister

  • 1
    The icons also look slightly cartoon-like. I think more sombre colors should be used when describing crime.
    – djq
    Mar 7, 2011 at 22:00

In the US there is a Homeland Security Standard - some of my colleagues have discussed it in an AAG paper (PDF) last year.


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