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Parsing Rap Sheets with Perl

by Starky (Chaplain)
on Oct 21, 2004 at 02:18 UTC ( #401036=CUFP: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I thought I had seen it all. Then I read about Henry Earl. Henry is something of a local celebrity for his unusual inability to avoid the long arm of the law.

In order to keep tabs on his rapidly expanding rap sheet, a Perl hacker wrote a script to regularly scrape the Fayette County Jail's web site and post updates with up-to-the-minute statistics on Mr. Earl's number of offenses (873 total, 71 so far this year), days spent in jail, and average incarceration time.

Comment on Parsing Rap Sheets with Perl
Re: Parsing Rap Sheets with Perl
by DrHyde (Prior) on Oct 21, 2004 at 08:47 UTC
    Downvoted, because mocking someone who is ill is just not cool. If I could, I'd downvote the fuckwits who publish the data that this relies on too.
Re: Parsing Rap Sheets with Perl
by halley (Prior) on Oct 21, 2004 at 20:21 UTC
    I have no problem with the generic posting of rap sheets. It's a public record. I think the next century will see a lot of fascinating new applications which comb public records. Some dull, some very useful, and some quite bizarre.

    But I saw the 27dotorg cafepress link for a lot of merchandise dedicated to this guy. Does Henry Earl get any money from all those t-shirts? I somehow doubt it.

    --
    [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

Re: Parsing Rap Sheets with Perl
by elwarren (Curate) on Oct 25, 2004 at 22:07 UTC
    This is interesting, and a CUFP in my book. I have crossed paths with a convicted felon in my life and hadn't thought about online criminal records. Monitoring his rap sheet to see what he's up to could be an interesting early warning system.

    The City Of Chicago has a interesting system online called Citizen ICAM that allows you to plot out recent crimes by location on a map. There is a two week delay on the data. Some neighborhoods are more active than others, while other neighborhoods are more active than you'd expect.

    I've considered parsing the site to generate email warnings when crimes happen near my home or areas I frequent, but decided it wasn't worth the effort with the two week lagtime. It is still on my list of nifty projects though, because merging the data with a realtime navigation system would be a good way to know you've just taken a wrong turn and parking your car here and walking to the concert is probably not a good idea.

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