Cool iPhone app gives lowdown on any neighborhood

Is your neighborhood more of a laptops-and-lattes demographic, or does it trend toward Pacific Heights? ESRI's cool new iPhone app, submitted to Apple today, will let you find out that and more.

Zeroing in

Overview

(see more screen shots below)

The iPhone app, called Business Analyst Online, or BAO, links back to a wealth of geocoded demographic data stored in ESRI's geographic information system databases. Best of all, you can tap it for free.

"We think it's really cool, because unlike any other app it will allow you to really check out a location, find out what it's like and what kind of people live there," says Lead product manager James Killick.

Killick says ESRI is providing more than just rehashed Census data. "It's updated demographics created by ESRI's team of demographers, statisticians and economists who have been involved with building these kind of data sets for over 35 years."

BAO was created with the needs of the real estate industry in mind, Killick says, but a search function will allow anyone to find locations that meet specific demographic criteria.

What's in it for ESRI? The GIS vendor sells the back-end infrastructure that delivers such data in a mapping context. By giving away the app, ESRI hopes to stoke demand for its GIS systems by creating markets for new types of applications that go well beyond traditional government uses, such as for wetlands and tax map overlays.

Killick expects the iPhone app to be publicly available in the Apple App Store by the end of next week.

But will there be an Android app? Maybe. "We're either going to build an iPad-specific version or dive into developing an Android version. We've not made a final decision yet," Killick says, adding that the choice presents an "interesting dilemma" facing mahy application developers lacking the resources to pursue both at once.

Here's the demo:

Zoom into the target address

Zoom to Location

Discover the socioeconomics of the area

Demographics
Demographics2

Drill down on the neighborhood

The Neigborhood

How does the location compare with other addresses?

Compare

How does the location compare with the county, state or country as a whole?

Compare2

Where do you want to live? BAO allows searches for locations that meet the user's criteria

Smart Map Search
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