Many of my recent Map Monday tools have been more than just maps, but rather they have been tools that have harnessed mapping functions in order to tell a more complete story. Whether it be “keeping your neighborhood safe”:http://duenos.net/article/459/MapMondayTrackingTroublemakers or “tracking the Olympic medal count”:http://duenos.net/article/470/MapMondayTheOlympics, maps are very useful as a way of understanding or interpreting data. This Map Monday feature is an excellent example of that principle.
“WalkScore.com”:http://walkscore.com/ is a website that rates neighborhoods by how walkable they are, and then serves as a forum/information hub for everything to do with urban walkability. This isn’t anything spectacularly new, but what is new is the way that the site’s rankings–walk scores–are determined. Rather than relying on anecdotal evidence and peer review like “WikiTravel”:http://wikitravel.org/ or other wiki-based sites, WalkScore runs addresses through the Local Google API to find amenities close to that address and then, based on the proximity and variety of the amenities found, rates the location from 1-100. Of course there’s more to it than that, and if the social scientist in you needs to read more, check out “their methodology page”:http://walkscore.com/rankings/ranking-methodology.shtml for more.
http://walkscore.com/rankings/, or just view the "138 Walkers' Paradise neighborhoods":http://walkscore.com/rankings/walkers-paradises.php. Not interested in all this hippie bullshit and kind of feel like jumping in your Navigator and running over some wildlife? Check out the "Why Walk?":http://walkscore.com/walking-matters.shtml page for some reasonable explanations of why walking is right for you, me, and everyone.