Charting a move
Regular people just drop a pin on a map, and just move there. Not me — there’s too many beautiful charts & maps to look at to rationalize cognitive dissonances! Here, I’ll share websites that show a lot of information that can help to waste hours and hours and hours and contemplate the future.
(Most links below have data about the USA — I’d love to learn about similar sites / resources working around the world.)
Weather and climate
The climate has been a little wobbly lately — First, The New York Times tells what risks are around already:
The San Francisco Bay Area, where I live, has so many risks, it couldn’t fit on the color coding!
Knowing about what might happen next month is good, but if you’re planning for a few decades, it’s good to know how things will change. A nice visual article on ProPublica explains how climate will migrate and how you’d better do the same:
This website scores various risks and breaks it down to county level. If you are optimizing for 40 years and have any sense, you move to Vermont or Maine.
Climate hard, weather is easier. Weather Spark is a website that pictures how weather looks like throughout the year and allows to compare various locations. It shows temperature comparisons:
Tells you how cold it gets during the night. Check out, startup experts — the Bay Area is comfortable during the day and Miami is nice during the night. New York — needs short and long sleeves both:
Weather Spark also taught me the word muggy (a hot and humid day)— something I didn’t need to know about, because California doesn’t have it:
California is famous of earthquakes, or rather, the impending doom of them. While we‘re waiting, the government (United States Geological Survey) has this interactive map showing various kinds of fault lines that attract shakes:
Schools & living
Done with nature and found a preferred state to live in? Next in the list is — school systems! Niche is a school ranking website showing the best schools in a county or state.
It also has some info for the child-free reader too, for example:
Finding a place to live
This post is not about property search; but in the interest of completeness, Redfin (best search), Zillow (best coverage in rural areas), Realtor (status quo) is plenty to pick from. When in doubt, Redfin is good; it also has a data center with a lot of property-related charts.
These property search websites are great; but they lack a bunch of crucial information.
HowLoud tells what level of noise you can expect at a certain address and shows a nice heatmap of it. The higher the score, the quieter the neighborhood. Start from home to get a gauge of what you’re used to. I’m moving from a 70 to a 78 and cannot wait.
Walking is not a common activity around here — that’s why it’s important to understand what walkable anomalies are there. Walk Score can score an address by walkability and lists nearby cafes, parks, etc. It also has a list of most walkable neighborhoods.
Those who don’t walk, commute. Travel Time takes an address, a time of day (to account for high traffic hours), number of minutes; and shows how far can you live if you want to get to work on time.
USA seems to have some crime map deficit — the least bad option maybe is NeighborhoodScout that gives some sense of crime levels:
Everything is almost perfect
Found your ideal place, but don’t know how the shadows will be like throughout the day? ShadowCalculator, a website that works world wide, calculates exactly that. Just draw the building, set the time, and presto: