How shady is your favorite bar? Is there a lot of crime around your hair salon? Should you worry about walking through your friends' neighborhoods alone? A creepy yet useful site can tell you.
Read Write Web reports that the Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre, an organization which studies how technology affects society, has developed a site called Fearsquare. This site will basically look at your 10 most recent Foursquare check-ins and — by cross-referencing crime statistics — determine how shady the spots you've been in are:
After authorizing Foursquare, Fearsquare makes the comparison and shows you how many instances of robbery, violent crime and "antisocial crime" have occurred in the vicinity. They can then see how they rank on a leaderboard of users and "FearPoints."
Why would some site want to scare you like that? Because you should be aware of your environment.
As explained on Fearsquare, the way crime statistics and data in police reports is presented "is aimed purely at places - it does not allow for the fact that people commonly travel through a number of different areas on a daily basis. [The makers of Fearsquare do] not feel that the way crime data is currently presented allows for an intuitive understanding of the real levels of crime people are exposed to on a daily basis. FearSquare does offer this level of individualization."
It's worth noting that Fearsquare isn't exactly the first instance of someone attempting to raise public awareness of something in a slightly creepy way. A website called 'I Can Stalk You' demonstrated how geotagged photos — if combined with details gleaned from tweets — can reveal information which could easily be abused by someone with nefarious intents, a site called Please Rob Me did something similar using public Foursquare checkins, and an app aptly called Creepy revealed how easily location data can be pulled from publicly shared photos.
Fearsquare just launched in the U.K. and will hopefully expand to work for folks on this side of the pond soon. After all, we wouldn't want to be left out when it comes to creepy safety awareness campaigns.
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