San Diego Datascape: Help

Instructions

Once you've selected some areas of the county, and you're done oohing and aahing over the translucent, candy-colored polygons, feel free to play with the other controls.

Commute

The commute location is probably your office, but we won't tell if you really care more about the distance to the beach. You don't have to select a location, in which case the whole county is fair game, all the way to Anza-Borrego.

The commute time is how far you're willing to travel with no penalty. If an area is farther away than that, it will start getting penalized the farther away it is. Distances are as the crow flies, not as the car drives, so it's not perfect, but should give you an idea.

Price

Prices can be a little hard to pin down. The slider under "What house price" sets how much you want to pay per square foot. If an area is more expensive than that, it will be penalized more the more expensive it is.

Equivalent Rent

We use sale price per square foot to determine the affordability of a neighborhood. But many people are more interested in renting, so we wanted to show a rental number too. But for how big an apartment or house?

Our solution is to take a stab at how much a 1000 square foot apartment would cost. Sales prices are generally related to monthly rental prices by a relatively constant factor. So we take the sales price per square foot, divide by the factor, and multiply by 1000 square feet to get an approximate rent. Obviously your mileage may vary.

Factor Sliders

The sliders in the center determine how important different factors are in choosing a neighborhood:

Geographic Checkboxes

Check the box for each part of the county you want to consider. You might, for instance, check several of them, and then, once you have narrowed the search, uncheck the areas you have ruled out.

Buttons

The top three buttons control the camera.

The bottom three buttons do miscellaneous things.

Map

The lower left part of the window shows a Google map. As you click on an area to select it in the main display, the map zooms in to show that area. You can also click on the map to select an area or areas in the main display. The usual map controls can be used to zoom in or out and scroll around. Use the little man icon to switch to Google Street View and get an idea of what the area actually looks like.

Detail Area

The upper right part of the window shows details of the selected area or areas. If there is one area selected, you can view detailed information about the area, including the various factors influencing its desirability. If there are multiple areas selected (because you pressed the top ten button), you are shown a list of the area names. Click on a name to select it.

Photos

The lower right part of the window shows pictures from Google Panoramio that Panoramio users contributed and marked as being located in the selected area. You can scroll through pages of pictures, and click on a picture to see details. Not all areas will have photos.

Main Display

And of course there's the main Google Earth display. The controls are standard for Google Earth. Click on an area to select it, even while in fly by mode.