Monday, April 03, 2006

Automated License Plate Reader

This story caught my attention. It deals with a project in the Baltimore-Washington area where cameras mounted on police-cars constantly take photos of car license plates and then compare these with sought after license plates in a database. It's a great idea ... and one I thought of several years ago!

In fact, my idea would be to scan license plate numbers into a large geographic database and then compare this data with criminal activity mapped in a similar way. I believe that a data mining application could quickly correlate the two and provide statistical probabilities of what vehicles were involved in what crimes.

But I don't like the "Big Brother" aspect of it and is one of the primary reasons I never pursued it. Still, used properly, it's a very useful tool!

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