Some clever data-visualization geeks at MIT have created a very cool new map that reveals the social geography of San Francisco coffee shops. A Bernalwood-enhanced look at our portion of the map reveals which parts of Bernal align most organically with each of our local coffee shops:
This map shows the location of every independent coffee shop in San Francisco and the walking-shed community associated with it.
Independent coffee shops are positive markers of a living community. They function as social spaces, urban offices, and places to see the world go by. Communities are often formed by having spaces in which people can have casual interactions, and local and walkable coffee shops create those conditions, not only in the coffee shop themselves, but on the sidewalks around them. We use maps to know where these coffee shop communities exist and where, by placing new coffee shops, we can help form them.
We applied two steps to generate the data displayed by the map. First, we used the Google Places API to locate all coffee shops in a given city. Second, for each point in the map we queried the walking route and distance to its nearest coffee shop using the Google Distance Matrix API.
In the final map the colored areas represent a region which is walkable to a specific coffee shop (within one kilometer or 0.7 miles). The intensity of color at each point indicates its distance from its corresponding coffee shop.
Cool! But not perfect. The map was created by algorithms, not humans. So it reveals the logic of physical proximity, not social preference (thought the two often and naturally overlap). Also, the data might be a little old, because the transformative Cafe St. Jorge on Mission near Cortland is not present.
Nevertheless… cool! Here’s how all of San Francisco looks without the Bernal annotations: