Neighboroo Mashes Your Neighborhood
The newly-launched Neighboroo.com brings together the great taste of Google Maps with the rich texture of census and other data to provide a variety of insights into neighborhoods around America.
Neighboroo may be the most useful mashup one can find on the Internet. There have been plenty of good mashups created by a myriad number of developers, but Neighboroo really taps into data that virtually anyone should find useful.
If I were toiling through Social Studies as a student today, I would find the site very useful. The default view upon hitting the Neighboroo home page shows the “red state/blue state” political look of the United States.
Visitors can drill down by city/state or by zip code to find out more about a given location, such as its political leanings. The Lifestyle option tells the breakdown of a location by the “life stages” of neighborhoods, and further by household spending preferences.
People who are considering a move from one place to another can at least take a macro-level look at an area, and get an idea of its lifestyle and politics. They can also find out where that zip code rates as far as the cost of living index and the crime rate goes.
The Google Maps piece of Neighboroo places a pushpin on the map based on a user’s query. An Ajax window opens on the map to show more data. The user can click a More Info link to open a new page and learn more about the statistics behind a piece of information.
I’ve found looking at zip codes more useful than the city/state view, because city/state defaults to a single zip code in the center of the city. If I do a query for Lexington, Kentucky on Neighboroo, it comes back with information for the 40507 area.
For crime rate, 40507 has an Overall Crime Index of 84, with a rating of 0 being safest. If I lived in 40507, an 84 would mean I shouldn’t even think about walking out to my car without several large-caliber handguns, Master Chief, and a pair of genetically enhanced, trained cheetahs along for the stroll.
Fortunately, the bucolic WebProNews headquarters resides in 40509, which rated a 59. So I could probably leave the cheetahs at home.
Neighboroo said on its site that the company plans to launch “a service for trend experts to share what they know about the nation or a local area.” Those who consider themselves trend experts can become participants, called Guroos, at Neighboroo and provide more information about their areas.
They also plan to make additional features and information part of Neighboroo. Upcoming ones should include greater ability to zoom closer in the map view, and the ability to drill into metro areas.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.