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mccann erikson

City Hopes Graffiti Will Go Virtual Via GraffCity App

In many parts of the inner city, graffiti sprouts as naturally as weeds, or flowers, depending on your perspective. The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) has been trying to reach the (mainly) youth population that's behind tagging in a variety of ways over recent years, and last week it unveiled one of its most intriguing initiatives yet.

GraffCity is an app that turns your iPhone into virtual spray can. You can point it at any building or vehicle or sidewalk (or even the sky) and tag without breaking the law or defacing someone else's property.

"It's quite amazing, actually," says Tyra Fennell, Arts Education Program Manager for the SFAC. "The tag looks like it's right there on the building."

But it's only there virtually. Once you upload your work to Facebook or to the website associated with the app, the augmented reality mode embedded in the app uses GPS to allow you to see other people's virtual tags as well.

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