Post Event Summary

Community Mapping- Mapping Unsafe Areas on the Rutgers University Campus

On December 1, 2011, Rutgers University students and volunteers set out to map unsafe areas using the technique of surveying and GIS technology. Using Mappler Mobile a device developed by Vertices , students were able to use a rating system and write comments, specifically on why some areas are rated as safe and others unsafe. Measuring concerns such as adequate street lighting and observing lack of sufficient police patrol, students were able to convey the message of how safe or unsafe they feel when located on the Rutgers University Campus.

The RU Safe interactive map allowed students to categorize each area and describe as well as rate the area as safe or unsafe. Using categories such as ‘light index’ and ‘vulnerability rates’ helped students in identifying which areas to avoid at certain times of night. This map has also aided the Rutgers Police Department in defining which areas on the New Brunswick campus need further patrol.

Other factors such as time was also taken into consideration. Participants using Mappler were able to input the time they felt most unsafe adding to the correlation of feeling vulnerable and whether the feeling of vulnerability was felt at a certain time of night.

Participation in the RU safe activity let students become more aware of their surroundings while being able to take a note of their individual awareness. Many times students on a campus become extremely comfortable with their surroundings and thus become more vulnerable without recognizing the conditions of safety.

This experience was especially important for female students because they are faced with the problem of feeling vulnerable and sometimes are not able walk in groups as they are told. Part of the problem for students is the connection of the campus to the main city of New Brunswick. For students, crimes that are related to the city of New Brunswick is out of their control.


R U Safe?

Welcome to “R U Safe?”

“R U Safe?” is an initiative piloted at Rutgers University in which students walk throughout College Avenue campus and map points where they feel unsafe and vulnerable.┬áReasons for these feelings could include lack of proper light, suspicious characters, reputation for crime, etc.┬áThis project will be done using Community Participatory Mapping and will utilize GIS technology to create an interactive map. This will be done in an effort to provide the RUPD with a visual representation of students’ perception of safety threats and raise awareness among students on proper behavior to reduce their vulnerability, therefore preventing future incidences of crime throughout the Rutgers community. For more information, find us on Facebook by searching “R U Safe” or email us at