Databases turn the tide on Graffiti!

by Stephen O
Graffiti, it dots the landscape in just about every city and neighborhood. In most cases, it is an eyesore, blight upon the urban landscape. Every day the cities spend millions on cleaning it up, only for to happen again, and again. To this end cities are fighting back…with databases!  Several cities have started to fight back with databases. Los Angeles launched its own database this year called TAGRS to combat a ten million dollar a year problem. City of Santa Clarita has a Graffiti task force, which was created back in 2006 and since then has caught 1,000 taggers since the creation of their database.

“The Graffiti Task Force operates on a three-prong approach: quick removal of graffiti, arrest of graffiti vandals, and community education and outreach. City staff enters all graffiti removal service requests and photos into the Graffiti Tracking Database, allowing the Sheriff’s Department to access vital information that is helpful in stopping graffiti vandals.  The Graffiti Task Force includes the City’s graffiti team, the Sheriff’s Department, the Santa Clarita school districts, residents, and other local agencies.” (Home Town Station, 2011)

The TAGRS database is reliant on Los Angeles’ City Workers armed with smart phones who will have ability to upload photos they take to TAGRS. The city plans to expand what the system will be able to do.

“In fact, officials say tags in every corner of the city can one day be inventoried. And that means when you naughty kids with spray cans are caught, they can tie all that artwork to you. It’s called evidence.” (Romero, 2011)

Reflection: I hate tagging, it ugly, its costly and it is something animals do. We the taxpayers pay millions of dollars because of this problem. Not only it is a blight, it people have died over tags. It is stupid and it is a problem that we have yet to deal with efficiently until now.

We are now using databases to combat this problem. More and more graffiti databases are springing up, and more people are able to contribute to these databases creating an even more robust database, that may someday soon end the problem at hand. Not only we are able to track specific tags, but also we can link them to repeat offenders. They keep tagging and we will keep improving the database and sending these people to jail.

Home Town Station. (2011, November 19). Graffiti Task Force Database Keeps Writing Off The Wall. Retrieved November 20, 2011, from Hometown Station: http://hometownstation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26996:graffiti-city-database-clarita-2011-11-18-13-55&catid=26:local-news&Itemid=97

Romero, D. (2011, March 4). L.A. Launches Graffiti Database to Track Taggers, Keep Evidence on File. Retrieved November 20, 2011, from LA Weekly: http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/03/lapd_tagger_database.php