The article basically uses crime as a proxy for "social population density." I'm pretty sure you could also use "restaurant reservations" as a similar proxy, but then I guess you wouldn't get to use words like 'prostitution' in the title of your blog post.
Then, Uber cab riders go to these areas that are densely social. I'm guessing they probably take other modes of transportation too.
Then, something about certain crimes being more prevalent on certain days of the week, with some pretty huge leaps of faiths made in the reasoning and no actual testable data to back it up.
I don't like to post too often on HN if I'm just going to stand there and drink some haterade, but this just seemed like such a sad attempt to put together something for pageviews that I couldn't help myself.
The difference is that okcupid had data in their database that is deep, and the team has a bunch of MIT math guys, if I recall correctly.
I'm not sure about Uber, but I'm guessing to write this post they had to go out looking for this information, rather than infer it from their primary data. Still a decent post, but realize the objective here was to market Uber, and the rest makes sense.
I believe so: the importance of open data.
This finding is a perfect example of the fascinating insights you can get when you combine big, seemingly disparate datasets.
I'm not sure where you would go to get an equivalent dataset for "restaurant reservations".
In the sense that it uses readily-available crime data to make inferences about possibly correlated phenomena, this analysis is another iteration on Adrian Holovaty's original mashup:
25000 trips, anyway.
It doesn't seem all that useful — it's fluffy — but it's amusing nonetheless and I don't regret reading it.
I'm curious what leaps of faith do you see in his reasoning? Crimes "caught" versus actual criminal activity seems like the obvious one, but I don't think there's really anything in the piece that makes that distinction necessary. (Police activity might actually be a better proxy for activity than criminal activity.)
The plural of anecdote is data, right?
Perhaps a less contested statement would be: "How Uber makes prostitution and alcohol better"...
As subsidies go, this one seems pretty obviously positive...