Who’s watching you?

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A surveillance camera on a downtown Portland building. (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — No matter where you are, no matter what you do, chances are you’re on camera during your travels.

Cameras catch criminals in the act. Cameras also see you when you’re shopping, or even walking down the street.

In Portland, more than 1,400 surveillance cameras could be pointed your way. In Salem, there’s at least 287. That’s according to a new Portland-based website which chronicles just how many surveillance cameras there are — and where.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” said Portlander Katie Kirschner. “But you know, I’m not doing anything you’re not supposed to be doing in a public situation.”

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CommunityCam’s “add a camera” symbol.

The Portland company behind the mapping, VideoSurveillance.com, offers a service called CommunityCam. That service lets any member of the public add and track where surveillance cameras are. (Watch KOIN 6 News’ 6 p.m. broadcast to see how it’s done.)

VideoSurveillance.com President Josh Daniels said the free site has many benefits, allowing users to find cameras that could help with “something relatively minor, like they lost their wallet or there was a minor break-in to a car, to something much more major like a violent crime that occurred.”

Users don’t have immediate access to the images from those cameras. But it gives users a place to start. They then can approach the camera’s owner to ask to review the footage.

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One example of a camera used as an “eye in the sky.” (KOIN 6 News)

“In case someone tried to steal my wallet or fight me, a camera’s going to see and we’ll know who did it,” Lincoln City resident Kyle Kerrigan told KOIN 6 News.

On the other hand, “the only person I think would find it useful,” said Brad Kerrigan, also from Lincoln City, “is somebody who’s trying to do something wrong.”

CommunityCam has already mapped more than 2,000 cameras from Corvallis to Portland, Ore. Thousands more could also end up online, as more people use the site and add in additional cameras they’ve found.

The CommunityCam site reportedly is getting a lot of interest from bikers and runners looking for well-protected routes.

VideoSurveillance.com also is rolling out surveillance-camera maps for other cities, including Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Seattle. Portland has the most cameras logged to date.

Related link:

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