I happened to spot these items in the same week, and it seemed a fairly obvious leap to mash them even further. Item number one is a heat map of rent and room availability in San Francisco: CraigStats. This is something that Zillow has been doing for a while, but CraigStats contains detailed information about renting (as opposed to buying with Zillow). So that’s all relatively interesting, but not exactly new.
But then I came across item number two: the BioMapping Project. What they’re doing is measuring your galvanic skin response, which is to say how sweaty you are, along with your GPS coordinates, all while you’re strolling around a neighborhood. It’s more art than science, but the intriguing premise is that you can generate some sort of aggregate emotion map of a neighborhood. Where do people get stressed out? Where are they relaxed? Here’s the data for the San Francisco emotion map.
Now you can imagine throwing these two maps together and you might get a sense for how the rent correlates with the stress level. It’s easy to guess that low-rent areas might give you the heebie-jeebies, but there might be some kind of bimodal distribution… I don’t know about you, but super-wealthy areas give me the creeps. Throw in a crime map and an ambient display on the end of your GPS-enabled walking stick, and you’ve built yourself an automatic Spidey-Sense. “On second thought, my dear, let us not stroll slowly through the Tenderloin District. I sense there’s mischief afoot.”
(via O’Reilly Radar)