Two apparent entrepreneurs have released an app about the sketchiest neighborhoods in New York City. The app draws data from public records as well as crowd-sourced information and provides the end user with the "relative sketchiness" of a neighborhood. The apps creators are 27-year-old Allison McGuire and 26-year-old Daniel Herrington, who both work full time on the so-called service.
The app works like any other map app: you open it, and you're presented with a map. On the map are little dots in varying colors. The scale ranges from green for safe to red for dangerous. Theoretically, the app could be used for actual good…letting users know about actual crimes by tapping into the real NYPD crime map of crimes committed in any given neighborhood. But the thing is: Users report these kinds of things themselves. This is where the problem lies.
So far, the app looks to be mostly used as a joke: a quick run-through of the Hell's Kitchen area showed just a few purported sketchy scenarios, one about not wanting to be sketched by artists in Times Square, another about a "dirty subewy" (spelling accurate) and another still about there being dog poop on the sidewalk. Another search in a Brooklyn neighborhood gave way to an entry about "white people moving in…they seem very sketchy." Only one post in the neighborhood was about an actual crime…ironically, about someone's phone getting stolen. Given that this is largely based off of user-generated content, one has to wonder what the users of the app will turn it into.