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Safety Alarm

Apply geospatial analysis to help people stay out of crime, and improve their mental health and well-being.

Dot density map

Use dot density to visualize the distribution of crime counts among GTA. This map gives the user an intuitive sense of the link between the number of crimes and the region.


Report the crime case

Users report the crime cases they experienced or witnessed. These reports become an instant alarm to warn surrounding users and also become useful data for analysis.

Background research

Toronto was well known as Canada's economic center. With the development of cities comes rapid population expansion and an unequal distribution of resources among regions due to the widening wealth gap. Furthermore, as an immigrant city, Toronto has been experiencing a year-on-year increase in the number of new immigrants it receives. In January 2023 alone, there were 50,885 new arrivals. The changes in population and demographics have led to social instability in Toronto, resulting in an increase in the number of crime incidents and a decline in residents' well-being. The data from Statistics Canada shows that violent crime in Toronto, as measured by the index, was up 15 percent year-over-year in 2022 compared to a Canada-wide increase of only four percent.
  1. Crime index in Canada compared with Toronto
 Resource: Statistics Canada
2. Crime index in Toronto changes as time changes 
 Resource: Statistics Canada
3. Income and Crime rate in GTA
income and crime.png

User research

Based on the data presented above, I did qualitative user research through interviews, surveys, and focus groups, asking people who lived in Toronto where and when they feel unsafe, and what environment and prior crime incidents have changed their thinking patterns and life habits when they are facing specific scenarios. Throughout the research, we could identify user’s pain points and their frustrations for further ideation.
  1. User Persona


2. Unsafe situations users met

1. Being followed in the night

2. The car was stolen or broken into and burglarized in the parking lot.

3. Being asked for money by a beggar.

4. Being gazed at by drunkers in the subway

5. Being robbed in the dt street.

Competitive product research (existing solution)

There are some organizations and City plans that Toronto has engaged in to reduce the crime rate and treat mental health in various regions. For instance, the Toronto Community Crisis Service offers non-emergency responses to people who request well-being checks if they are self-identified in crisis.

However, all the services provided are geared towards post-trauma healing and support, and they are reactive in nature. The current shortfall in urban crime management lies in the lack of effective measures through technology to proactively address and prevent crimes before they occur.

On the other hand, the crime incident records from the government are just part of the total number of crimes that were reported to police or insurance companies. Most of the sexual violence or robbery cases are under the surface.  

Problem Statement

People who feel unsafe hanging around the city, need a new strategy to get synchronized information, so that they can proactively stay away from crime events.

Solution Ideation

1. All the users could self-report crime events they experienced or witnessed. These reports become an instant alarm to warn surrounding users and also become useful data for analysis.  

2. Once the users are within the 5km circle of the crime event, they would be automatically aleted.

3. All the reports would represent as dot density symbol on the Toronto base map. So that people could proactively know which areas are high-crime index area.

Usage Flow with Prototype


Main Page

Dot density map. Cime cases are quantified as dots, connecting with geographic information 

Report case (1)

As user click the "Report a case" button, they would like to select the category that crime cases belong to.  

Report case (2)

Detailed pages represent a form for users to describe the details of crime events.  


View any crime event

Users can zoom in on the map and click any dot to see the specific event history that occurred around them before.  

Geting alert

If another user is located within the 5km circle of the crime event that just published, they would receive a notification with event details.  

Report case (3)

After successfully publishing the report, they can see the dot (orange) appears on the map in the indicated location  

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