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Daniela Klimpfinger: Estimating Spatial Risk Distribution of Terrorist Attacks by Applying Risk Terrain Modeling


Daniela Klimpfinger: Estimating Spatial Risk Distribution of Terrorist Attacks by Applying Risk Terrain Modeling

Date: 
Monday, June 6, 2016
Time: 
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: 

8400 Baltimore Ave., Suite 250, College Park, MD 20740

On Monday, June 6 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm, Daniela Klimpfinger will give a lecture at START titled "Estimating Spatial Risk Distribution of Terrorist Attacks by Applying Risk Terrain Modeling." The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are appreciated.

Daniela Klimpfinger is a visiting scholar working with START's Geographic Information System (GIS) team. She comes to START from the University of Vienna with a background in geoinformation science and cartography with a focus on spatial crime and terrorism analysis. Her master’s thesis was a study about the spatial distribution of possible targets in the city of Vienna.

Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) is a statistical method developed at Rutgers University to estimate the likelihood of crime to occur in certain locations. It is based on the finding that crime is not distributed randomly in space, nor is it dispersed evenly. Multiple studies have found that the same is the case for terrorist attacks. The reason for spatial clustering of different phenomena are underlying spatial relationships that influence the distribution of such events. By applying RTM, risk factors that show a significant spatial correlation with attack locations can be identified. From this information risk maps can be created, showing areas of higher and lower risk.

The study area chosen to test the methods applicability to terrorism, is the city of Belfast. While the Northern Ireland conflict officially ended years ago, sectarian violence is a problem up to the present day that needs to be addressed. By applying RTM, areas of highest risk of an attack to occur can be identified in order to help to improve police work and security measures.