Monday, May 12, 2008

Walk Score

via Atrios

What would the internet be without various quizzes and seemingly arbitrary metrics to brag about and compete over? Walk Score appears to be the latest on that front as a site that uses the Google Maps API to compile a summary score about the walkability of any address you input. It seems to add up the number of different establishments within a a mile radius in different categories like grocery stores, parks, bars, and schools. For our current residence, that score comes out as an 88 out of 100, which I actually thought was a little low since I certainly feel like where we live is a "walker's paradise"... but it did beat my old apartment in Brighton by 3 points, so I'm movin' on up at the very least (though my college dorm was is 95 out of 100).

So, kinda cool if you are buying a condo or looking for an apartment or something... though there seems to still be some bugs and issues, like the fact that convenience stores appear to count as much as actual grocery stores... and it would be nice if you could weight the categories of your own interest, as I imagine someone fresh out of college might have different priorities than a family of four.

But pretty cool usage of Google Maps at any rate (though Walk Jog Run is my favorite still)

UPDATE: One interesting thing was looking at where my mom lived when I was in high school... the score is only 25 out of 100 which isn't shocking for suburban Towson MD living, but what did surprise me is that the Hillendale Shopping center was within a mile... since back then it seemed like it was REALLY far away. Sort of interesting how different your thinking is if you always go for a car first.