Graffiti Tracking

Graffiti Tracker is a company that uses global positioning systems (GPS), digital photography and computer databases to help U.S. cities catch graffiti artists.

“Graffiti Tracker takes pictures of graffiti before it is painted over, using GPS cameras that record the date, time and exact location. The company analyzes the graffiti, for example checking whether it is gang-related, and stores the pictures in its database.”

“Police use the information to track or predict where a particular tagger will strike next. Once caught, they have evidence to prosecute for a string of offenses.”

“Clean-up crews in Los Angeles County — where graffiti ranges from gang scrawls on lamp posts to walls of bold color regarded by some as underground art — painted over more than 40 million square feet of graffiti last year, according to authorities. Pico Rivera — a city of 65,000 residents east of Los Angeles — has made 60 arrests since buying the system nine months ago to boost its $300,000 annual anti-graffiti program.”

Personally, I think that some Graffiti art is beautiful and it can add character to a public space. However, the problems with graffiti art are that much of it contains cryptic symbology (gang signs, etc.), often times it is created in unwanted areas, and it is expensive to clean up (a $1 can of spray paint can cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage).

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