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Does a sex offender live near you?

National Sex Offender Registry

Familywatchdog.us is a pretty impressive site. Not only does it provide an extremely important service, but it is a great use of technology. It also shows how a little information can be used to make your life very public.

The purpose of the site, as you might guess, is to let you know whether any registered sex offenders live or work within a certain distance of the address you enter. The point would be that you could use that information to help safeguard your children. I put in a few addresses of places I’ve lived or have relatives, and was pleased to find that there were few sex offenders nearby — though concerned to find the ones I did.

Technically, the site is also very impressive. It uses information gleaned from the national sex offender registry, in combination with Google Maps, to pinpoint your address, and any offenders and school addresses in the local area and display them in a easy-to-use format. Offenders are even color coded by type of offense. Clicking on a colored flag launches a new window with a picture and details about the offender. This is a huge leap forward from the Megan’s Law websites I’ve seen run by the state police, which provide information in list format.

[tags]sex offenders, children, safety, Google maps, AJAX[/tags]

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