WalkScore Heat Maps

Anyone who lives in a city can tell the walkable neighborhoods–with a vibrant street scene, welcoming shops and restaurants, and high accessibility–from the remote, cold office and industrial complexes that are the bane of urban living.  Since July 2007, WalkScorehas been quantifying and mapping the “walkability” of neighborhoods throughout the country.

The map above is a “heat map” walkability chart of Seattle, one of WalkScore’s most recent additions.  The site’s algorithm plots the locations of businesses, restaurants, shops, and other popular destinations block by bloc across a city.  Red areas are car dependant, meaning that there are a small number of accessible destinations spread out across a large area.  Green areas are just the opposite–lots of destinations in a smaller area.

The map of Seattle shows how the neighborhoods vary in their walkability, with downtown and the north-central part of the city registering high walk scores, and the coastal and southwest parts of the city registering low walk scores.  Click here or on the picture above to see the full, zoomable map.

For folks without cars, try to live in the green neighborhoods–it means you can accomplish most of your errands on foot!

[via Greater Greater Washington]

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Cartographia is a blog about how we use maps to represent the world around us, and how people interpret maps today and throughout history. Please feel free to send any questions, comments, or recommendations directly to me at cartographia.blog@gmail.com.

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