Earthmine, a 3-dimensional mapping company, recently unveiled a new virtual graffiti application called Wild Style City. It’s modeled in the same fashion as Google’s street view, allowing artists to roam the streets of San Francisco and throw up a tag wherever they see fit.

“Wild Style City is an exploration into what people create when given the ability to freely express themselves and their ideas in specific places,” said Anthony Fassero, co-founder and co-CEO of earthmine. “Viewers can enjoy the images, add to them, erase them or even start over. It’s as close as you can get to the graffiti experience without the obvious real world consequences. But just like in the real world, no piece of graffiti is permanent and can be removed or replaced by the community.”

I spent some time exploring earthmine’s San Francisco and was pretty impressed with what I saw. It would appear that some serious graffiti enthusiasts have found their way into the world to bomb some sick spots. Unfortunately, for every good piece of graffiti art there’s a picture of a penis politely asking passerby’s to touch it innapropriately.

Touché...

Touché...

Earthmine’s innovation is an interesting take on socializing the street view product, letting it’s users “interact” through pieces of art with the rest of the community. Other wanderers and vote on pieces of art, but even the most lauded of designs can be taken down by anyone that feels it necessary to paint over. Thankfully, you can still access past pieces of art on any particular canvas.

As far as pure entertainment value, it’s a fun way to get around, explore San Francisco, view other’s art and maybe throw up something yourself. The community is entirely run by the art since you can’t see other people roaming in browser and there is no official message board or way to send information. But in that sense, it stays true to the graffiti community in real life. You’re just walking by, looking up at a great piece of art thinking “I wonder who did that?”

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