Walk Score Receives Grant From Rockefeller Foundation to Open Source its Code

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 22, 2009

Seattle-based civic software company, Front Seat, announced this week it received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to improve its flagship Web app, neighborhood walkability measurement tool Walk Score. Front Seat says it will use the funds to add more features to the app and release its source code under an open source license.

Walk Score is a terrific app that helps promote a car-lite lifestyle by providing walkability ratings for neighborhoods and specific addresses. When users provide a street address, Walk Score's algorithm digests information on nearby stores, parks, schools, restaurants, and so on, then ranks the address on a scale of 1 - 100. The higher the number, the more walkable the area.

Besides releasing Walk Score's source code, the company will include public transportation stops on maps, and factor public transit accessibility into Walk Scores. Results will also display estimated transportation costs associated household greenhouse gas emissions data provided by The Center for Neighborhood Technology. “As people look for a place to live, we want to make it easy for them to factor transportation impacts into their buying decisions,” Matt Lerner, CTO of Front Seat, said in a prepared statement.

Walk Score's source code will be housed at the newly formed Web site WalkScore.org. It also serves as a place to "collaborate with others interested in walkability, more accurately measure location efficiency, [and] bring complete transparency to our scoring methodology."