GoodPlace Walkability Scores

Especially true for city condominiums, being able to walk to nearby amenities and transportation choices is becoming more important by the day (and especially so with the horrendous KL traffic which doesn’t seem to get better). So for the past two months, our small R&D team here at GoodPlace.my have been currently experimenting with a new feature that computes the walkability of a neighbourhood by pulling together a couple of data points to compute what we call the GoodPlace Walkability Scores (GWS).

A snapshot of the KLCC Walkability Score Map which you can download here.

A snapshot of the KLCC Walkability Score Map which you can download here.

The GWS is built on top of Google Maps API and is scored using the walking distances to:-

  • Basic amenities such as restaurants, clinics and schools.
  • Secondary amenities such as drinking spots, entertainment outlets, laundrettes, shopping centres and police stations.
  • Transportation points (taxis, train stations).

We apply a “dampening factor” on the overall score which increases logarithmically with distance. The maximum GWS score is 100.

We have debuted this feature at our sister site, the KLCC Condominiums Database, and you can download a map with the assigned GoodPlace Walkability Scores here. We are currently working on maps for Mont Kiara and Bangsar – watch this space.

Credits: This feature was suggested by EC and Harry – two of our loyal readers at http://klcccondominiums.com.my/. We also cannot claim authorship over the concept; in fact we have liberally borrowed ideas from Walk Score (http://walkscore.com) although our algorithm is independently derived and proprietary.

Addendum: The Algorithm

The maximum Walkability score is 100. The initial point is therefore set at 100 which then gets subtracted through a series of weighted scores which each represents a particular facility. Mathematically, this can be encapsulated in this simple formula –

main-equation

The heart of the algorithm is the computation of each of these weighted scores represented by X in the equation above. Each score again starts at a maximum value (which varies between the type of facility which is correlated to the degree of importance) which gets “dampened” further by two aspects:-

  1. Distance between the property and the facility
  2. “Ease of walk”: existence of pathways and walking lanes

The data points above are derived from Google Maps API (documentation here). The ease-of-walk factor needs a little more processing compared to the walking distance which is comparatively straightforward.

x-equation

In the equation above, A represents the coefficient which represents the degree of the importance of the facility. Typically, the coefficients for safety related facilities (guard houses, police stations) and education (schools and colleges) are higher than, say, the laundrette and pizza eateries. W is the ease-of-walk factor while d is the path distance (i.e. not the straight line distance) between the facility and the property.

For each type of the facility in consideration, we typically build matrices since there will be multiple locations for each facility (for example, different transportation points for taxis and buses) –

matrix

Each permutation of these are reduced and factored into a single score which then fed back into the main equation to derive the final walkability score.

With new facilities and walking pathways being built, obviously the scores change, and we try to do a new what we internally call the Crawl-And-Compute process once every six months. For latest scores for existing properties inside our database, contact me.

Comments

  1. Lim Boon Tiong says:

    wow.. very sharp & professional comments… How about CYBERJAYA ?? I purchase Pangaea project by OSK::Solstice serviced apartment in cyberjaya.. will be completed in 2007..

  2. Hayden says:

    Hi Khai Yin!

    Good write up again! Mind giving comment about Le Yuan Residence @ Happy Garden?

  3. I plan to buy cyberia smarthome which is walking distance to mmu cyberjaya… this is my 2nd property…. is it worth to invest thr? I like it coze rental can cover the monthly loan and maintenance fees… …. I always hv the idea if rental can cover everthing means its a gd property to me… m I right? Any other properties to recomment as my budget is below 350k? Ut if hv very gd properties wt gd capital appreciation im willingto share wt my siblings which can reach to 600m limit… hehhe

  4. Hi Khai Yin,

    Can you share with me your comment on the new integrated project in Damansara Height Damansara City?

    • I like it a lot. Excellent location, only a handful of condos in the area (Clearwater Residence the other notable one), and as any regular GoodPlace.my reader knows, I’m super bullish on mixed use developments.

  5. Stevie says:

    I’m planning to venture into Maytower Dang Wangi as it is quite walkable to eateries and train stations. How does it score in your walkability test?

  6. B. Awang says:

    What about the condos at Bandar Sunway?

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