WalkscoreWalk Score has always been at the forefront of delivering a digital representation of a neighborhood’s walkability to consumers.  From a standardized scoring system to interactive maps showing entertainment, dining, transit, and retail options, the Walk Score system has become a standard metric for many consumers considering whether or not they need a car for their intended relocation.  It’s also a way for the car-free local resident to find a similar neighborhood as they search for a home near work and play.

Walk ScoreWalk Score’s measures are often based on how close by a grocery store, bus line, book store, or other retail location is to the searcher’s point of origin.  Those stats only reveal access to a minimum necessity, however.  Being able to walk to one grocery story is nice, and serves its purpose.  Being able to choose between three grocery stores within walking distance is the next level, a depth of choice that creates an even stronger draw for a walkable neighborhood.

Walk Score’s new ChoiceMaps deliver a tool that allows consumers to see that depth.  Users can specify a location, and the distance they’re willing to walk/travel, and the amenity they’re interested in.  For example, a potential home buyer might select Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, and search for restaurants within a 10 minute walk.  ChoiceMaps tool might produce 24 restaurants that are available within that timeframe in Ballard, while just to the north in Sunset Hill, there might only be one.  While those neighborhoods both technically have walkable restaurant access, the depth of the availability is vastly different.

Walkscore choicemaps

This seems like another big step forward in allowing the ever-more-mobile population to understand the cities they’re moving to even before setting foot in town.  Consumers are asking for these kinds of tools, and they seem to be a straightforward value-added proposition for a real estate company that does a fair amount of relocation business.