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Your Code as a Crime Scene by Adam Tornhill

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Grow Your Mental Maps

Remember how we discussed geographical offender profiling back in Learn Geographical Profiling of Crimes? We built our hotspot analyses based on the idea that just as we spot patterns in the movement of criminals, our version-control data lets us identify patterns in the changes we make to the codebase. What I didn’t mention back then is that the movement of offenders is constrained by a concept called mental maps.

A mental map is our subjective view of a specific geographic area. Our mental maps deviate from how a real map would look. For example, geographical hindrances such as highways and rivers often constrain and skew our perception of an area. In the small town where I grew up, it took me years to venture across ...

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