Urban Markup Language / Street Graffiti

Chris Steins's picture
So we've all seen those spray-painted marks on the street -- usually they have a line, arrow and say "USA". As a planner, I've always had this nagging sense that I should know what they are.

Some brilliant editor at Wired apparently decided that it was time to figure it all out. A one-page feature, Urban Markup Language, (Brilliant play on words) in the September, 2004 issue of Wired Magazine offers nine images of the most common forms of the graffiti, along with descriptions of what they mean. (Unfortunatley, the web version doesn't include the great photos.)

For example, "USA" stands for "underground service alert", a blue line is for water, and a red line for power.
Chris Steins is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.


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