In an effort to tighten security in New York City yesterday,  mayor Michael Bloomberg and honchos from Microsoft announced the Domain Awareness System. The software is designed to help make sense of security devices, like street camera feeds, currently running all over the city.

All Things D reports:

It brings to bear the extensive network of cameras and sensors that had been put in place to guard against another terrorist attack, and puts it to use in the fight against more common crimes. As New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly put it, when he arrived on the job in 2005, there was “a lot of data that we didn’t know we had.”

The system helps sift, order, and can cross-reference all that data all in the name of catching bad guys. For example, if a camera catches a glimpse of a license plate number, the Domain Awareness System can cross reference the number to see if the car has been photographed in other parts of the city or whether been stolen, or if its owner might be wanted for a crime.

Don’t expect any NYC officials to go bad-mouthing DAS, since the city will get a cut of its future sales.

Again from All Things D:

Bloomberg said that while Microsoft provided “the technical muscle” in building it, the city’s police force provided the institutional and professional knowledge and experience in describing what it was they wanted the system to do. Now Microsoft will offer the system to other police agencies around the world, and the city will pocket 30 percent of the net profits on every sale.