Are You Safe in the Neighborhood You Are Moving Into?

by Mark Wellborn

Back in March, we wrote about iLive.at, a website that provides information (demographic, shopping, transportation, etc.) for specific addresses in DC, a good tool for anyone having trouble figuring out where to live in the city.

The creators of this helpful site came out with an innovative follow-up earlier this year that could be useful to home buyers. The application (for the iPhone, of course) is called Are You Safe and it provides the user with an array of crime stats based on where they are in DC. The crime level is laid out for the user via the three visuals outlined below:


1) The Threat Meter – Using the 34,000 DC crime incidents reported in 2008 mixed with census data, a crime heat map is created for the entire city, broken down by two square block segments. When a location is entered, the application determines what grid point the user is in, and that grid point’s safety level is represented on the threat meter. The heat map for DC can be seen here.

2) Crimes in Immediate Vicinity – This visual provides data on four categories: homicide, assault, robberies and car thefts. Based on where you are in the city, a live query is done and provides data for these categories within .2 miles of your location.

3) Closest Crime – This option allows a user to see the closest crime to their location. He/she must click on the “crimes in immediate vicinity” tab, and the closest incident to the individual is provided.

For home and condo buyers, this tool is particularly useful as real estate agents (due to their code of ethics) are restricted from providing perspective on the crime level of a certain neighborhood.

“People really get a kick out of driving with the app open and seeing the meter change every couple of blocks,” co-creator Benjamin Mokotoff told UrbanTurf. “They also like checking the closest crime every time they stop at a stop light.”

Mokotoff, along with fellow creators Travis Hurant and Brian Sobel, have already launched Are You Safe in Atlanta and Sacramento and Milwaukee, Dallas and Indianapolis are on the horizon. If you are interested in learning more about this application, click here.

See other articles related to: dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/are_you_safe_in_the_neighborhood_you_are_moving_into/1248


  1. benji said at 11:52 am on Wednesday August 19, 2009:

    Great app! Are there plans to input 2009 data?

  1. Benjamin said at 1:16 pm on Wednesday August 19, 2009:

    Hey Benji - this is Benjamin from the AreYouSafe team.  Glad you’re excited about the app.

    All AYS stats right now are from 2008.  Most cities do not provide updated data in a timely fashion, often not until the following year. 

    In the future, we may move to a more dynamic update if the data proves readily available.  We may also do an update in early 2010 to add 2009 data.

  1. Piet Russo said at 7:56 am on Thursday August 20, 2009:

    There is great demographic data for DC and the rest of the us at http://www.localetrends.com/metro/washington_d_c_district_of_columbia_home.php

  1. Nikki Smith said at 9:48 am on Thursday August 20, 2009:

    The Metropolitan Police Department provides current crime statistics and an interactive map. It’s a good way to learn about the neighborhood before you move in.

  1. PleasantPlainer said at 11:18 am on Thursday August 20, 2009:

    Benjamin: AYS should tap into the MPD data…crime stats as recent as the last 30 days. I wonder if DC patrols have this info as they cruise around with those cool lights flashing on top of their cars…or on their Segways or MTBs…or how about *gasp* those on a walking beat?!

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