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8/18/2008
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Online Crime Map 'UCrime' Illustrates Campus Incidents

The Baltimore startup provides real-time data about the date, time, location, and type of crime on campuses.

A new Web site with an eye on public safety will compile and map crime statistics from places where they're not always easy to access -- college campuses.

UCrime, a Baltimore startup, launched its online services this summer with a Web site that provides maps and automated alerts for students, prospective students, parents, administrators, faculty, public safety officials, and those living near universities.

It promises to provide real-time data about the date, time, location, and type of crime on campuses.

Alerts are available to those who request them and transmit via e-mail or mobile devices. They also are available through Facebook.

The Web site compiles its information from police departments, newspapers, and other sources of public information. The maps display icons like burglars and money bags to show where theft has occurred. They illustrate arrests with handcuffs. The site also contains social networking features that allow users to comment on particular crimes.

Colin Drane, CEO of UCrime.com, said that the social networking features make UCrime.com particularly useful for students, administrators and security personnel.

"In addition to knowing what is happening where, users are empowered to provide tips and ideas to help solve crimes and improve public safety," he said in an announcement.

The Web site uses the same technology and information gathering techniques as SpotCrime.com, but its focus is on colleges and universities. SpotCrime.com provides the same information for 130 cities in the United State and the United Kingdom.

So far, the university crime reporting service offers information about 101 colleges and universities. It does not translate the crime statistics into per capita data to reflect crime rates.

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