Sitegeist: A Data-Rich Mobile App To Help You Learn About Any Neighborhood

A new app from the Sunlight Foundation gives you easy access to data about your neighborhood.

What do you know about your neighborhood? Sitegeist, a new mobile app designed by the Sunlight Foundation and IDEO, might help you learn a little more. The app draws from publicly available data on everything from demographics, to the average cost of rent, to recommended restaurants. All of the information is displayed in easy-to-read graphics.

The data comes from free APIs like Yelp, Foursquare, and the Census Bureau. It's especially interesting when you don't know an area well; I'm visiting a small town in Silicon Valley now, and was surprised to learn that though an average home here costs nearly $700,000, the average household income is only between $30,000 and $60,000. Even more fascinating (though less surprising, since it's obvious with a glance at the sidewalks around town), is the fact that only 5 percent of commuters walk, and 1 percent bike. 83 percent drive. Compare this to nearby San Francisco, where only 20 percent of commuters drive.

Give it a try. What didn't you know about your neighborhood?

Images courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation