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GIS Resources

How to Update Your OffenderWatch GIS Data

It is important to keep your agency protected sites and address files up to date. OffenderWatch Admins or someone who handles the maps for your agency should provide these data annually.  Here is how.

wood county heat map

How is Your GIS Data Used by OffenderWatch?

Your map and address data is used by the OffenderWatch geographical information system to:

  • Alert you should an offender reside too close to a school, daycare, or other protected site.
  • Properly display schools and daycares on your maps.
  • Notify your agency should an offender elsewhere in the network indicate the intention to move to your jurisdiction.
  • Verify the offender’s address.
  • Assign offenders automatically to your agency’s zones, beats, or district.
  • Provide heat maps and geographical analysis to your agency.

Your address and map data are not redistributed or sold to third parties by OffenderWatch.

Update Your Protected Sites

What are Protected Sites?

In many states, registered sex offenders are prohibited from living too close to daycares, schools, parks, recreation centers, churches, and other places where children gather.  State statutes typically designate a 1000-2000 feet safety buffer around these protected sites. OffenderWatch is configured to your state statutes to alert users should a registrant provide an address too close to a prohibited site.

Because new schools and daycares are often added, relocated, or closed, it is important to maintain the addresses of these protected sites in OffenderWatch each year.  Outdated GIS data can become a legal liability for registering agencies and a danger to the public.

How do I obtain protected area map files of protected sites?

Updated map files of protected sites can often be obtained from your county or city GIS/Mapping department. In many cases the GIS department is associated with the County Assessor’s Office.

What is the proper format for protected site map files?

Map files can be provided as Parcel (.shp) or and MapInfo tab files (.tab).  Please include projection file used.  These shape files are preferred because they are most accurate in depicting boundaries around of the school or church campus. When delivering the spatial dataset, please create a single file with the following field names or tell us you’re your corresponding names.


FieldsData TypeYour Field Name

Email your map files back to us at [email protected]



map of protected sites around offender address

What if I don’t have a GIS department or map files? 

That’s ok.  You can send us an address list of your schools and daycares and other protected sites using our simple Protected Sites Template.  Put all your protected sites in a single spreadsheet in the exact format of the template. 

Then email your spreadsheet back to us at [email protected]

mom reading post card notice

Update Your 911 Address File

How is 911 Address Data Used by OffenderWatch?

When an OffenderWatch user adds an offender address to a record, the OffenderWatch GIS verifies the address against all known addresses in the jurisdiction and adds a geocode so the offender address can be displayed on a map and used in notifications.

We have found that local GIS departments have the most up-to-date GIS datasets for their region. Therefore, we encourage agencies to supplement the GIS dataset found in OffenderWatch with data provided by local county GIS departments. This can help improve the geocoding success rate of your registry.

What is the proper file format for Supplemental 911 Addresses?

We would like a copy of the Address File or 911 Address dataset for your region. This file lists latitude and longitude of each address or structure. It includes the spatial object and the physical address associated with each spatial object. The required meta data is shown below.  If the only address associated with a spatial object is a separate mailing address (e.g., P.O. Box), then please exclude the entire spatial object from the file.

Acceptable spatial data types include both shape files (.shp) and MapInfo tab files (.tab). All datasets should include projection files. There should be only one spatial object for each physical address. To expedite the import process, please include all Address/911 data in a single file.

When delivering the spatial dataset, please create a single file with the following field names or tell us you’re your corresponding names.


FieldsData TypeYour Field Name
DateChar 10 
SubkeyChar  10 

Email your map files back to us at [email protected]

Update Your Zones, Beats or Districts

How does OffenderWatch Use Zones, Beats or District Data?

If you assign responsibility for offenders geographically, send us your zones, beats or districts.  We will configure OffenderWatch so that offenders are automatically assigned responsibility based on your zones, beats, or districts.

What is the proper file format for Zones, Beats or District Data?


Acceptable spatial data types include both shape files (.shp) and MapInfo tab files (.tab). All datasets should include projection files.  In order to expedite the import process, we ask that all polygons be included in one file. Multiple files require extra processing which may result in additional fees. Offenders can only be assigned one zone at a time, therefore please make sure that there is no overlap in your spatial dataset. Also, we assume that the entire geographic region will be covered by the zones, so please remove all gaps before delivering the spatial dataset.

Submissions must contain the following:

Spatial Data Type
Projection (NAD83 preferred)
* Zone / Responsibility Name Column

Email your map files back to us at [email protected]

police duty belt

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