Civic News
Apps / Brooklyn

New app captures evolving record of NYC graffiti

Watch the city's street art change, even as it gets washed away, with this new iOS app.

The most interesting facet of NYC Graffiti, a new iOS app from Gaudos, is that it plugs into the NYC 311 API to flag graffiti tagged for removal.

In other words, it’s an alert that lets local graffiti fans go check out whatever will soon go away. If they like it, they can store an image of the piece inside the app, digitally preserving it.

Graffiti singled out via 311 is often removed quickly, with city teams devoted to taking it down full-time, backed in part by NYCEDC.

Screenshot from NYC Graffiti

(NYC Graffiti screenshot)

This city is ambivalent about street art/tagging/vandalism/graffiti.

Bushwick feels like a graffiti safe space and some of the murals there strike this reporter as museum-quality. Graffiti’s acceptance in the neighborhood inspired this comic from Bushwick Daily. On the other hand, police are so vigilant about street art that they arrested a woman for painting on paper that was taped to a wall (as in, she was just using the wall as an easel, without marking it).

Graffiti also changes on its own. Sometimes one artist paints over another’s work. Or a street team removes one mural only to see it replaced with a new one. Or a wall just accumulates endless, simple tags.

The NYC Graffiti app lets you see how these spots have changed over time, with geotagged images that everyone using the app can see and share.

Download NYC Graffiti

Gaudos is an Italian company whose CEO, Stefano Polasek, lives in Bed-Stuy. We spoke to him earlier this year.

Series: Brooklyn

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