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A new campus crime mapping Web site called bills itself as the "most comprehensive online source of crime information" for colleges, but two of the Hub's largest universities say the site's maps miss the mark.
"When you list crimes miles away from the campus, it doesn't seem to have any value," said Boston University spokesman Colin Riley.
BU is one of five Bay State universities featured on, a Baltimore startup launched last month. The other schools are Northeastern, Harvard, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
For the Massachusetts schools, draws its information from police logs published on university Web sites by campus police departments. The exception is Northeastern, which is largely sourced by an independent student newspaper, The Huntington News. None of schools has had contact with the site operators, according to their spokespeople.
"We don't believe the information on there is accurate. It's certainly incomplete and misleading," said Northeastern spokesman Renata Nyul. Riley said data published on the BU map listed many incidents that took place off campus.
At first, founder Colin Drane defended the BU map.
"We are placing those crimes accurately on the map," said Drane, who also operates "Unless a university is an island we're going to map the crime that happens in and around the university."
Later, Drane e-mailed the Herald a link to the updated BU map, which was altered after a reporter directed him to the university's online police logs.
Harvard University Police Department spokesman Steven Catalano was more supportive of the site. "I think any time that crime data is shared with the community, it's a good thing," he said.
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