FNR Consulting is pleased to announce the launch of its inaugural mapping application. The hunt for housing in Los Angeles is never easy and each neighborhood is unique. Whether nasty or pleasant, surprises are in store for those who haven’t done their homework when moving into a new area. Even those who have lived in this city for a long time may not know much about what lays outside their neighborhood.
FNR Consulting hopes this tool, which brings the power of several popular web applications into one place along with some of our own data, will help eliminate some of those surprises and help match people to the best neighborhoods for them. Failed your driver’s license exam? Information from Walk Score and Metro can help you find neighborhoods that aren’t car-dependent. Are old people always yelling at you from next door to turn down your Lady Gaga? Don’t want kids playing your lawn? FNR’s application includes Census data that can help find you an age-appropriate area. Love Italian food? Regular at the bar? Our Yelp feature will show you restaurants, bars, parks and several other amenities in the area. Lastly, can you afford to live there? Sure, Bel Air is a convenient commute to campus, but unless you’re the Fresh Prince you’ll want to know how much it costs to live there.
Francis was responsible for the designing the logo and architecture of the website. He coded the function to map Metro bus stops within the walkable buffer and also was primarily responsible for the geocoding functionality and Streetview feature.
Nori was responsible for creating the several ArcGIS layers, building the functions to add them to the project, and website aesthetics. He also created the Walk Score and Zillow functionality.
Román was the main writer for the blog posts, presentation, and Help/FAQ section of the project. He also helped create the Yelp functionality.
All team members contributed to designing and tweaking the user interface and testing and debugging the project.
Anyone who has been following the development of this project may note the intended user of our final product differs rather significantly from the project as it was originally conceived. The initial conception of the project centered on encouraging and facilitating transit use by providing a trip planner which would then generate a pedestrian shed populated with nearby business and other attractions around the user’s destination. However, transit trip planning functionality is not currently offered by either the Metro API or the Google Maps API. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, we decided to focus on simply letting a user input an address and mapping the pedestrian shed and attractions around it. We had hoped to use Network Analyst to map a true pedestrian shed that took account of actual streets and barriers, but testing with this proved the idea to be impractical in the time we had. Lacking this unique feature, we felt the application was not especially powerful as it stood and shifting the focus to housing allowed us to capitalize on the features of the site that we liked while giving us the flexibility to incorporate the kind of content that would make the site useful to the general user.
Given more time, we would have really liked to have incorporated Network Analyst into mapping the pedestrian area. Although in many locations the difference between the Network Analyst-generated polygon and a simple radius would be trivial, in many parts of the city natural and artificial barriers (e.g. freeways) significantly alter what is actually within practical walking distance. We would also have liked to link all geocoding to an on-click function and improved the styling of the site.
The site allows users to search neighborhoods by inputting a zip code.
fnr.drawMetroWithinBuffer: retrieves and displays all Metro bus stops within a radius of user-inputted locations
fnr.getYelp: retrieves and displays Yelp results within a certain range
fnr.getWalkscore: retrieves and displays Walk Score results of user-inputted locations.
The site includes custom layers displaying information on age, income, and percentage of transit users by Census tract. It includes Metro Rail and Rapid Bus lines and stations, L.A. County Bikeway Plan, and parks and hospitals in L.A. County. It also includes a zip code layer to help users quickly find the zip code of the area they are looking in.