The Sacramento Bee recently began an online web application called CrimeMapper. You write in the address of a home, residence, school, etc.; click, and you are then shown a map of the area with markers explaining what crime was committed where and when over the past year.
A program like this has tons of possibilities for English Language Learners and others. Students could analyze their neighborhood crime’s statistics and compare it with others, then discuss the reasons for differences.
They could look at the stats and organize a meeting with police to discuss any concerns they and their families might have.
And these are just two of many ideas.
I’m assuming that other newspapers around the United States and world will have similar applications if they don’t already.
I’ve placed the link on my English Themes For Beginners page under California.