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Ghetto Tracker - A rating system to help people avoid the bad parts of town (ghettotracker.com)
22 points by sharmanaetor 1417 days ago | hide | past | web | 37 comments | favorite

Feedback: If your goal was to inspire 100 "what's wrong with tech" articles, you named this perfectly. I would highly recommend changing the name and addressing the problematic aspects of red-lining neighborhoods before you get absolutely hammered by a million bloggers.

Judging by the stock photo here http://ghettotracker.com/about.php (white familiy, in case it'll change in the future), it's quire clear who needs to be afraid, and from whom.

I see Compton, California just added. They should simply geotag by ethnicity and save people the need to subjectively "rate" certain areas?

You should have tried to hit refresh. The image is sometimes a white family, sometimes black, and sometimes biracial. Rating areas where people live will always be sensitive (property values, racial discrimination, etc), we do not need to manufacture drama.

Does the name change as well, or is it always "Ghetto Tracker", or sometimes "White Suburban Tracker", "Trailerpark Tracker" etc.?

PS Actually double checked. There was only one photo, and this is why I mentioned that in my comment.

FWIW I contacted the developers through the "Contact Us" page and advised them to take the site down before they got creamed, but too late.

EDIT: Ok, actually I think it's either satire or just deliberate provocation, based on the FB page: http://imgur.com/uqKJrW8 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ghetto-Tracker/42731611071296...

Good idea. Did the same.

Based on some quick testing, I've seen a number of universities that've been tagged.

There is so much wrong with this, I don't know where to start. All white people on the about page pic?

I just thought of the same idea like this the other day. Then I thought maybe Waze/Google would buy it out to make better routes on their maps....

Then since I've lived in both the ghetto-est of ghettos in my lifetime and seen guns drawn at me and etc - it'd be a dream job to drive around and judge the ghetto-ness of a neighborhood. Even make a reality show out of it.

Great minds think alike.

So maybe some racist white people might rate any area with black or Hispanic people as unsafe. Hopefully, if the area is actually not bad, some non-racist black or Hispanic people will rate it as such. The positive and negative ratings should cancel each other out in such cases.

The areas that end up with negative ratings would have to be rated such by users of all ethnicities, which more or less rules out too strong a correlation with race here.

The only problem is if somehow only a single ethnic group, like white people, uses this.

So, basically, I don't think this is going to be an accurate source of information here. At the same time, if it were to actually get widespread usage, I don't think it would be as bad as some people are making it out to be.

Ultimately, though, why not use something like city-data? The site is ugly as sin but it has basically all the information you could ever want.

Why don't they just use FBI (or local) crime stats?

Not subject to as much subjectivity. Drawback is that it may not be realtime up to date, but should be good enough.

Crimes are not always reported, especially when they are seen as relatively minor and commonplace compared to the murders probably also happening that day.

Locals' informal guidelines to stay out of an area where you "don't belong" after dark may be so widely heeded that the number of assaults/robberies is low, but the probability of being mugged or beaten is still high.

And really a lot of you are over blowing the issue that there's white people listed on the page. WHO CARES. What did you first look at that in your racist attempts to point fingers at a supposed different racist? Grow up.

I've seen 9 square mile cities of nothing but white trash and 1 sq mile cities that would give even the worst parts Compton or Camden a run for it's money (and actually is recognized by people in the hood of Compton - I lived in a different part of LA, check out central falls, RI or west warwick, RI).

And no crime maps are not population density maps, either.

A lot of you obviously haven't lived that many places.

And I don't know why the heck I'm defending this but wow some ignorant lack of intelligence on the hacker news boards - sorta disappoints me.

However, I do not agree with letting the general public rate places...this is more something people who've lived in quite a different number of environments should be doing...

I went to the about page, which of course featured an all white family.

not sure this is the best idea. often people's idea of a bad area doesn't reflect the truth. what about using police data instead?

Murders and robberies are usually an indicator something's amiss. The data isn't hard to find. (http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_23191897/oakland-robbery-...).

police data is racist, too

This is so bad.

There's a dot over my neighborhood in Manhattan, just south of Washington Square. It's red, and says "Park Slope."

Is this meant to be satire?

Someone create a site, TechCracker, where you can identify websites and tech companies staffed and/or run by white bigots.


Haha, I noticed that too.

oops, sorry, didn't see you've replied to my comment. reposted it as a reply to @bendoernberg

√ √ √ √ √

[same goes, see reply to @bendoernberg]

If this is serious, it's disgusting.

I've always wanted this, the closest thing we had before were the Trulia Crime Maps. Thanks!

Feedback: You should show high-crime areas in NY, SF, or LA rather than Moody, AL

Maybe the starting point is random? I reloaded twice and always appear in the middle of the sea...

That's probably it - on second try I was landed in the sea as well

It would be good to seed the map with some police data...

haha - they left this line of code in http://cl.ly/image/060Q0f132222

Looks like the creators are on Twitter @GhettoTracker

I rated Compton just in case...

You mean you arbitrarily placed a dot in the middle of Compton without regard to what's actually there and whether or not it's actually a dangerous block.

Even if you were to ignore the many problems with the very premise of this site (the racially and historically charged name first and foremost) the lack of granularity or verification in reporting would prevent any useful data from being gathered anyway. As other people have said, if you want to know if an area is high risk for crime, you have crime maps, if you want to know what the property values are, you have zillow, if you want to know what the median income of residents is, there's probably a map for that too.

By the crime maps, the Magnificent Mile is the most dangerous area in Chicago. Crime maps are, for the most part, population density maps. See: http://xkcd.com/1138/. You need to compare crime rates to the number of people in the area to get anything meaningful.

By the crime maps, your probability of being robbed at Garfield-Red in the middle of the night is less than that of being struck by lightning in your lifetime. No Hyde Park resident will tell you it's a good or even reasonable idea to be anywhere near it at 11pm. When challenged on the data, they'll argue that few people are dumb enough to ride it at that hour, and that those who do get mugged are unlikely to bother with a police report for a crime which is seen as their own fault and unlikely to ever be solved (or even cared about) by CPD.

A+++ would get mugged again?

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