Producing police precinct maps for police departments



For any cities or counties, police stations are quite important as they closely relate to residents’ lives and security. A police department is often responsible for many daily tasks to protect citizens and their property, for example, identifying potential criminal activities, preventing contraband, responding to emergencies, controlling traffic, patrolling areas by foot or car, searching suspects, etc. To complete all these duties with limited resources and time, it becomes crucial for police departments to deploy manpower wisely and efficiently. If there is a map with key patrol points, main traffic routes, and gathering points clearly illustrated, it will be a lot easier and faster for schedule planning and emergency response.


  1. Generally, there are few GIS map producers or specialists in police departments.
  2. The early-produced maps are not drawn to scale and often lack some map elements.
  3. Purchasing ready-made maps is also infeasible because they are not targeted to police departments, which means no useful information is included for effective decision-making.


After interviewing some police stations and understanding their needs for the police precinct maps, Supergeo realizes that district boundaries, important landmarks, and traffic routes are all essential objects on the maps. Besides, how to mark the hierarchy of roads and which piece of information to remain on the maps with smaller scale should be assessed carefully. Furthermore, the visual design of maps, including the icons, colors, and symbols also affect the usability of maps. All of these are key issues when it comes to the mapping of police precincts.


  1. There are no soft copies for early police precinct maps, so we adopt the georeference module in SuperGIS Desktop 10 to scan the paper maps and to digitize the maps through affine transformation.
  2. Styling the appearance of maps to customize the needs of different police departments. For example, using distinct value to select colors for districts or applying “marker symbol”, which allows users to import the .png vector file and create exclusive icons for special points. Other dimensions of map design, such as adding text labels, ordering and adjusting the transparency of different map layers are also practicable in this case.
  3. Adopt the feature of “insert layer set” to display two different maps in the same frame. In this case, Supergeo makes good use of this function by attaching a large-scale map of the key area to the main map. Therefore, more detailed information is included in the same map.
  4. Switch to the export window, adjust the size of the export map, and add map elements (legend, scale, etc.) so that police officers can read the map quickly.



By applying SuperGIS Desktop10, Supergeo successfully creates customized maps for police departments to identify the police precincts, important locations, and roads. SuperGIS Desktop also provides versatile features for editing, for example, using outer glow effect on text labels to make them distinguished and assigning diverse symbols to roads with different hierarchy. With these smart tools, Supergeo is capable of creating a map with desirable visual effect, providing police departments an intuitive overview of the whole district and enables them to assign duties to policemen efficiently.


In addition, the multi-layer feature of SuperGIS Desktop allows double map display in the same frame. Users can attach a large-scale map (a map of partial enlargement) to a general, small-scale map. By doing so, more detailed information can be included in a district map. This is a smart design as some drawing software does not support self-defined graph size, and the user interface is not quite friendly at the same time.


Finally, users can define a unique symbol to represent a specific location so that the first-time map viewers can easily find the places they are looking for. All in all, SuperGIS Desktop proves to be the best tool to produce a high-quality map in this case!

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