EveryBlock, the darling of data journalism, just releases a new feature: Neighborhood Trends.
Until this release, EveryBlock data was most useful for people living in the cities that are covered. When I moved to NYC, one of the most exciting things for me was being in a city that EveryBlock covered. (Wow, that makes me sound like such a dork. But it’s true.) Of course, they started covering Miami soon after, so I would have been happy either way.
I live in the Bronx, a borough which is historically painted with the black brush of crime, the red brush of danger…OK, point is, people asked me if I was buying a gun for self-protection.
I’ll not deny that there are some areas of the Bronx I won’t go. But my neighborhood is pretty safe. I’ve only been living there a few months, and as part of my New Year’s Resolutions, I vowed to get involved in my community. No sense living somewhere you don’t know anything about.
EveryBlock just gave me a shortcut to learning about Kingsbridge Heights.
I can see what sources are publishing the most about the Bronx. That tells me what sites to visit and read from. Also, where to apply for jobs. :)
I can see where graffiti is located and where its being cleaned up, (or not). This tells me where the punks are hanging out at night.
Where’s the closest store selling liquor? (licenses) What buildings would I want to avoid moving into when I decide to move? (Building violations) Etc.
I have a few complaints though:
- I want to see trends over at least 6 months. I’m getting 2 months here.
- I want to see if crime is rising or falling. It looks like the way that EveryBlock gets that information (in 2 weekly police reports) isn’t translating well to the charts.