When data gets scary: Best cities for vampire bites and ghost sightings

Wed, 2015-10-28 06:00 -- Liz Enbysk

The Council's popular Smart Cities Open Data Guide captures lessons learned and best practices for city leaders and staff who want to hop on the open data bandwagon and learn the basics. What it doesn't tell you is to be careful what you wish for!

As smart cities the world over are discovering, opening up data can reveal trends that may have remained a mystery otherwise. A few examples as Halloween creeps closer:

20 best cities for trick-or-treating: The real estate site Zillow came up with its Trick-or-Treat Index by crunching numbers on local crime data, median home value, distance between houses and residents' ages. The Zillow researchers also pinpoint the top 5 neighborhoods in each of the top 10 cities, which it says are: San Francisco at No. 1 for the fifth consecutive year, followed by San Jose, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Chicago, Boston, San Diego, Denver and Sacramento. See all 20 cities deemed top trick-or-treat destinations.

Cities to avoid during paranormal uprisings:  If you want to avoid the next zombie infestation, vampire attack or ghostly haunting, the folks at the Trulia real estate site have been busy crunching numbers to help you with that. They calculated the distance of homes from cemeteries, for instance, and determined Providence, R.I. is one place to avoid (there are others) if that zombie infestation occurs. And to avoid the next vampire attack? By crunching the number of humans, hospitals and bloods banks, Trulia found San Diego may not be the best place to be. Read more – including cities where you're most apt to see a ghost.

A high-tech Halloween: Nextdoor, the neighborhood social network site, is back again this year gathering data for its Treat Map, which allows residents to indicate if they are giving out candy on Halloween – "taking the guesswork and aimless wandering out of Halloween," Nextdoor says. Trick-or-treaters can get the map on Nextdoor.com or download the free Nextdoor app (Android and iPhone) to plot the best route to where candy is waiting.

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