This one is only for Americans at the moment, and then only those in major cities, but it is a great idea that I hope will be extended. Walk Score is a web site that tells you how “walkable” a particular neighborhood is: that is, how sort of amenities are within easy walking distance of an address. It is primarily intended for people who are looking to move home, but I’m sure it will have other uses as well.
Obviously the site isn’t going to be perfect. I looked up where Kevin lives (and I used to live when I was allowed into the US) and we got a score of 89, which is very impressive. I wonder, however, if it knows that the little grocery store over the road is a small place selling mainly processed food and alcohol that we only ever use when we are out of milk. It usefully finds a bookstore less than half a mile away, but it may not realize that it is an Islamic bookstore selling only copies of the Q’ran and other religious texts. And, being typically American, the rating completely ignores the fact that we live almost on top of a railway station. But it is a great idea for a web business. I hope some of you find it useful.
(Hat tip to Michael Giberson at Knowledge Problem).