Symbols, and the "Graffiti Code Breaker"
2012-10-11 0:00

By Adam Hadhazy | DiscoverMagazine


To mark their territory and warn off rivals, 21st-century gangsters still depend on the street language of graffiti. “Graffiti is a big part of how gangs tell their story and pick their turf,” says Steven Schafer, a detective in the criminal gang unit of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. A new software program called GARI (Gang Graffiti Automatic Recognition and Interpretation) is now helping Schafer and other investigators decipher the scrawlings, monitor gang activity, and fight crime.

GARI connects officers in the field with a searchable database of graffiti information and images snapped by cell phones and digital cameras. An officer can take a photo and submit it to an app, which tags it with location, date, and time. The software also scans the graffiti for distinguishing features, including color and shape. Officers can then enter queries into GARI to check for similar images logged within a certain area and derive local gang affiliation, territorial disputes, and even the identity of the members who left their mark.

Because GARI is so new, Schafer and his team must manually tag many of the submitted photos to build up the app’s information bank. The program is also still honing its ability to identify graffiti on a variety of materials, from wood to dirty cement. But even in these early stages, more than a dozen police agencies in Indiana have signed up with the program. “The real challenge is acquiring and processing images,” says Edward Delp, an electrical and computer engineer developing GARI with researchers at Purdue University. “It’s not like reading a sign on the street—every image is different.” The photos displayed here have been fed into GARI as part of ongoing police investigations in Indianapolis. The app itself is not available to the public—including members of gangs who could use it to avoid getting caught.


[...]



The stylized SS stands for South Side, a faction of the 18th Street gang based in southern Indianapolis. A rival gang sprayed red Xs over the work as a sign of disrespect.

Government-sanctioned graffiti from the city’s Department of Public Works, in red, typically indicates
an abandoned building.

This board has been flipped or replaced, presumably by a rival gang, and then signed by Lil’ Bam. Police are not sure who this tagger is but are tracking his spray painting via GARI.




9, 7, and 4 denote I, G, and D, the 9th, 7th, and 4th letters of the alphabet, which stand for Insane Gangster Disciples, a faction of a Chicago gang. The star and forks also represent the parent gang. 360 symbolizes their all-encompassing knowledge. The triangle [on the right] probably indicates a botched first attempt.




Read the full article at: discovermagazine.com









Related Articles
Federal Agencies, Corporations, Police Create the Many Faces of Big Brother
Trapwire: Big Brother Now Monitors Your Every Move
Big Brother Will Be Watching You: Legislation grants officials new powers
2012 London Paralympics Closing Ceremony Symbolism
2012 Olympics: Fanfare and Symbolism of the Closing Ceremonies
Occult Olympics: 13 Illuminated Pyramids and Phallic Symbolism
The Hidden Symbolic Meaning of the Movie “2012″
Discovery of Jerusalem tomb with purported early Christian symbols ignites debate
63336 (Marketeers will use any "evil" symbolism to make their stuff go viral)
Symbolic Pics of the Month (12/11) - Vigilant Citizen
Tom Horn on "The Lost Symbol" - Mayan and Biblical Prophecy 1776 - 2012
The Last of the Druids: Pictish Symbols in Stone
Judge says it’s OK to use your seized phone to impersonate you and entrap your friends
The Rap Music Conspiracy
Obama’s "HOPE" artist Shepard Fairey arrest on graffiti-related charges
Graffiti artist Banksy pulls off most audacious stunt to date - despite being watched by CCTV


Latest News from our Front Page

Galaxy Poll: 86 per cent of Australians want childhood vaccination to be compulsory?
2015-04-17 23:33
Australians want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make childhood vaccination compulsory and close loopholes that allow vaccine refusers to put all children at risk. An exclusive national Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed overwhelming support to ensure every child is vaccinated. The highest support for compulsory jabs is in South Australia, where 90 per cent support the call. The poll ...
Eye in the sky: Local police now using drones to spy on citizens
2015-04-17 22:09
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is doing something that no other agency in Harris County is believed to have done yet: Use drones to help fight crime. It's an eye in the sky for law enforcement, without giving up the element of surprise. "It could absolutely save lives," says Constable Alan Rosen. Rosen says the agency's two new $1,200 drones, which ...
New Zealander of the Year: refuse vaccines, lose money
2015-04-17 22:47
Following in the footsteps of Australia, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance O’Sullivan, wants to punish people who don’t get vaccinated. The New Zealand Herald (4/15) reports: “A leading New Zealand doctor has called on the Government to follow Australia’s example to cut child welfare payments to families who do not vaccinate their children, saying the policy would help protect ...
Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
2015-04-17 22:20
Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology. For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet. Like ...
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity
2015-04-17 22:29
One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies. Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain ...
More News »