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Roast Hoodmaps 2.0

The 2.0 version of my app https://hoodmaps.com is almost ready for launch. It helps you find the best neighborhoods to stay and live when you're new to a city. And especially avoid the tourist traps.

It's fully crowdsourced which means anyone can use the paintbrush to color areas on the map.

The previous version was a slight transparent pixel grid laid over a Google Maps map.

I worked on the new version the last few months, I've managed to put the colored map below the actual map, so that it doesn't block the details of the map. Also I've drawn official neighborhood boundaries (like Shoreditch, Bushwick, Jordaan, Bangsar, Ekkamai) and normalized the pixels within those boundaries to one color. So you can see which neighborhood is categorized as what type. It also has a predictive algorithm to figure out what's the next upcoming area in a city (like where to buy real estate), and what's the current best area.

Let me know what you think, and what I can still improve. I'd say it's about version 1.8 now, so just need your final feedback to finish it off! Thanks :)

Here's before (1.0) and after (2.0) to get an idea how it's improved!

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  • The welcome text is quite long. I think you'll get more people to read it, if you shorten it to a sentence or three. Maybe make it more visually appealing as well with better typography, icons, and just overall make it more scannable.
  • I still think the tags (texts) should be more readable. Thicker outline should do it. Maybe a different font would help too, although I like the playfulness of the current one.
  • When in 'raw data' mode, don't hide it when dragging the map around
  • On iOS there's a transparent 1px hairline at the bottom of the 6 colored tabs that shows the underlying map. It's barely visible, but if you move around the map you'll some white pixels moving (tags)
  • 2.0 looks kinda dark versus 1.0 – I liked the bright colors better. I do like you got more contrast now, but it doesn't feel as fun as before.

The welcome text is quite long. I think you'll get more people to read it, if you shorten it to a sentence or three. Maybe make it more visually appealing as well with better typography, icons, and just overall make it more scannable.

Thanks, made welcome text shorter and added icons now.

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I still think the tags (texts) should be more readable. Thicker outline should do it. Maybe a different font would help too, although I like the playfulness of the current one.

Doubled outline now:

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2.0 looks kinda dark versus 1.0 – I liked the bright colors better. I do like you got more contrast now, but it doesn't feel as fun as before.

Thanks, not sure how to fix. Maybe I can pump the colors a bit. They're diluted now because they show the confidence of the category value (numberOfSamplesSayingThisAreaIsThatColor/allSamplesInThisArea)

Removed opacity (dilution) based on confidence level of the category now. I guess maybe I should show the confidence in another way, e.g. only darken it if it's below a certain level of confidence

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On iOS there's a transparent 1px hairline at the bottom of the 6 colored tabs that shows the underlying map. It's barely visible, but if you move around the map you'll some white pixels moving (tags)

Fixed!

When in 'raw data' mode, don't hide it when dragging the map around

Removed clearing map when dragging on mobile now!

  • Very fun! I located Moscow and was pleased it has some markup already. I even found my university and it said "No girls allowed". Fun.
  • Interface is easy to use, but I wanted to disable some of my colourings, because I accidentally made the area too big. Does Normie works like an Eraser? I'm not sure.
  • Also, the brush is very big, I would like a round one

Also, the brush is very big, I would like a round one

Made it round now!

Interface is easy to use, but I wanted to disable some of my colourings, because I accidentally made the area too big. Does Normie works like an Eraser? I'm not sure.

Will add an eraser now

Very fun! I located Moscow and was pleased it has some markup already. I even found my university and it said "No girls allowed". Fun.

:D

Now the brush acts strange, when I draw, it draws rectangulars, and they're slightly off, and then, when I release, it jumps into correct position (almost)

Thanks for the feedback on my feedback!

Hoodmaps is so awesome and I use it a lot, I slightly panicked when I thought you removed the option to view raw data (thanks for keeping it there). I use HM every time I book an apartment in a new city and it has been invaluable in making sure I can have access to an expensive avocado toast in every possible direction

  • The Districts toggle is quite nice but I would find it more intuitive to click a button with the label "raw data" to view the raw data instead of a toggle button that displays the current state.
  • The raw data view can feel a bit overwhelming and unclear, not completely sure why but I think because the normie tags are hard to differentiate from the streets/street outlines.
  • It asks for location access every time I visit the site, also when I'm directly visiting a city by URL.

Thanks for making this, it's super useful and fun!

It asks for location access every time I visit the site, also when I'm directly visiting a city by URL.

Thanks! Fixed this now, it will ONLY ask for geolocation permission if you tap the GPS icon in bottom right, this will center the map on your location. And it'll forward the frontpage to your nearest city based on GeoIP instead.

The Districts toggle is quite nice but I would find it more intuitive to click a button with the label "raw data" to view the raw data instead of a toggle button that displays the current state.

Nice, I had just changed that because @marckohlbrugge said the opposite haha. I'll ask Twitter what the most popular way would be.

The raw data view can feel a bit overwhelming and unclear, not completely sure why but I think because the normie tags are hard to differentiate from the streets/street outlines.

How do you mean normie tags? You mean the tags in general?

How do you mean normie tags? You mean the tags in general?

No sorry I phrased this a bit clumsy. I meant the normie paint the low contrast between the normie paint blocks and the street contours can, especially in the city centers, make it hard to orientate oneself and sometimes can be a bit confusing so I have to zoom out a bit to figure out where I am on the map.

Ah right, I've made the normie paint color the same as the general map background color, because most areas outside the city (which are non-normie) are normie anyway. I'll try make it a bit brighter

This is a super interesting way to explore space. Johannesburg - where i stay looks a lot like that :) One suggestion, is it possible to get an eraser? I made a mistake and was not sure how to change it

Sure, I'll think how to make that because it sends the data instantly to the server. Maybe I can make some kind of buffer instead

maybe something like 'are you ready to save?'

2cents;

Not sure if the 2.0 overlay will stay visible when zooming in and out.
The current production version annoys somewhat when the overlay blinks.

At the very least add a slight opacity transition?

Thanks, which overlay you mean?

Think the old version was still in the cache!

New version doesn't have the issue.
No blinking colored areas.

🎊 very nice

I'm not sure if this is a bug, but Hoodmaps says I'm in Hermosillo, Sonora (Mexico) which is like 7 hours away from where I am if you take an airplane. I'm in Campeche.

Yes that's a limitation of the GeoIP data, click the GPS button in bottom right to make it more accurate!

Yes, it works! - I didn't see the button until you mentioned it x)

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