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Jan. 11, 2013 9:30 am

CommunityCam: use this crowdsourced map to locate surveillance cameras around the city

Surveillance cameras are all around (and they’ve proven valuable for policing), you just need to know where to look. In partnership with Northern Liberties SEO firm SEER Interactive, Portland, Ore. firm VideoSurveillance.com launched CommunityCam, a crowdsourced map plotting private and public security cameras around the city. The tool can hopefully help victims of crime, said VideoSurveillance.com […]

Surveillance cameras are all around (and they’ve proven valuable for policing), you just need to know where to look.

In partnership with Northern Liberties SEO firm SEER Interactive, Portland, Ore. firm VideoSurveillance.com launched CommunityCam, a crowdsourced map plotting private and public security cameras around the city. The tool can hopefully help victims of crime, said VideoSurveillance.com in a release. The firm is not worried about the tool having the opposite effect, it said through a spokeswoman — that is, criminals using the map to find the security cameras and commit crime elsewhere.

Philly is the first city to have its own CommunityCam site, but other cities can create their own, according to the release.

Check out the map here. Add more security cameras here (click “edit”).

CommunityCam was partly inspired by SafeCam, the Philadelphia Police Department‘s internal database of private security cameras, said SEER Interactive founder Wil Reynolds, adding that SEER employees actually searched for security cameras around their office to help populate the map.

While citizens are encouraged to populate the map with security cameras they’ve seen or know about, it’s not as easy to tell if the cameras actually work. This summer, City Controller Alan Butkovitz published an audit saying that less than half of the city’s security cameras were functional.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technical.ly Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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