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walkscorelogoHow many coffee shops are within a 20-minute walking distance radius in downtown Seattle? What about grocery stores? Restaurants?

Walk Score‘s new ChoiceMaps tool can answer those questions and more.

The Seattle-based company that promotes walkable neighborhoods debuted the neighborhood analytics product today, which helps users measure access and depth of choice in cities and neighborhoods — and track how these trends are changing over time.

The tool lets you measure how many people, on average, can walk to places like grocery stores and schools within a given amount of time. You can adjust the slider from anywhere from 5-to-20 minutes, change map type by “choice,” or “access,” as well as cycle through six different categories from restaurants to coffee shops to public transit.

“Travel companies can use ChoiceMaps to highlight neighborhoods where there are lots of restaurant choices,” Walk Score co-founder Matt Lerner said. “Real estate analysts can find economically vibrant neighborhoods (more businesses are opening) or neighborhoods on the decline (more businesses closing).”

This is all possible thanks to Walk Score’s new Travel Time API that computes millions of walking times for millions of people across the U.S. Currently, you can check out live ChoiceMaps for New YorkWashington DCChicago, and Seattle.

Walk Score put together a ChoiceMap for us showing the number of restaurant choices within a five minute walk in South Lake Union, Fremont and Bellevue. If you want to eat within walking distance and enjoy tons of choices, Bellevue seems to be the spot:


Founded by All Star Directories creator Mike Mathieu, Walk Score secured $2 million last year from former Amazon.com CTO Shel Kaphan, former Facebook general counsel Rudy Gadre, entrepreneur Edward Yim, angel investor Geoff Entress and others.

Previously on GeekWire: Vancouver beats out Seattle, Portland as most walkable city

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  • Forrest Corbett

    Just last week I was in a discussion with many people who have tested out Walk Score but found that its scoring didn’t match their own impressions. My take was there was no way to distinguish the difference between a place that’s, for example, walkable for tourists and one that’s walkable for residents. Others pointed out situations where an area with no sidewalks rated higher than an area with sidewalks and a similar amount of destinations.

    I think this new functionality is a great improvement and will go a long way towards alleviating the pain points I’ve experience with their scoring, and some of the issues I’ve heard others mention too. Sounds like a really useful tool!

  • Just Sayin

    Feature not a business.

  • EL

    I hope it can take into account bodies of water! Walkscore thinks my Queen Anne dwelling is 1/2 mile from Fremont bars, but doesn’t take into account I don’t walk on water (despite what many may think!) and the Ship Canal needs to be crossed on a bridge!

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