MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new mapping tool is making it easy to find out if a registered sex offender lives or works near you.
State officials have added the mapping feature to the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry Web site. It lets residents search for sex offenders within a certain distance from a location that they enter on the site.
Getting that kind of detailed information was previously much more time consuming. Instead of entering their addresses, residents had to search using a sex offender's name or entering a ZIP code, which led to a long list of names but no map.
Officials at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections say there's been an increase in the number of visits to the site since the new map feature was added.
The state sex offender registry has more than 20,000 people in it, including more than 5,800 who are still serving prison terms.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)