A new Web site called BlockAvenue.com combines “geo data” and user opinion to create an online guide that helps people understand neighborhoods, local trends, and new happenings.
The site “leverages more than 50 million data points” for the location of your choice, such as crime, transportation, restaurants, shops, school and social activity. It then mashes it up with a “proprietary social layer” (i.e., comments from users) to provide a BlockScore that will tell you how good the location actually is. Because as we all know, neighborhoods do change on a block-by-block basis in major cities, and San Francisco is no exception.
I gave BlockAvenue a whirl by typing in “Valencia and 24th, san francisco, ca.” The next page was a map of the area, showing various icons representing local businesses and amenities, as well as boxes with corresponding details for each. So along with McDonald’s, Valencia Farmer’s Market and the Mission Cultural Center, I was able to locate a sex offender on Mission Street and a ZipCar pod. I was also able to mouse over the various categories, and could check boxes if I only wanted to see crime data or just check out restaurants.
BlockAvenue seems like a good way to get to know a city on a neighborhood level. There aren’t many user comments yet, but that takes time. I’d recommend using the site, particularly if you’re deciding which neighborhoods might be a fit for you as you search for a home.