Sat-nav? More like stab-nav: RedZone routes you around the shady part of town

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Most mapping companies are pretty good at getting you from point A to point B. They usually optimize for the quickest or shortest route, but rarely take into account the risks of navigating the shady end of town. RedZone, an iOS app launched today, adds a soupçon of street smarts to your navigatory efforts.

Yeah, this is going to make me feel really good about moving to Oakland. Thanks, RedZone.

Yeah, this is going to make me feel really good about moving to Oakland. Thanks, RedZone.

When you’ve lived in a place for a while, you know that sometimes it’s easier to go a couple of blocks out of your way to avoid that smelly street, those pesky teenagers or that place that seems to have a lot of shootings. If you’re new in town, however, you don’t have that luxury; that’s where RedZone comes in. The app maps out its eponymous “red zones;” those parts of town with a high concentration of crime.

The data in the app is in part crowdsourced, and in part obtained from existing sources of data, providing a comprehensive crime map using geo-fencing technology that combines crime data from federal, state and local enforcement agencies, news outlets and real-time crowdsourcing, as well as more than 1,400 data sources. The RedZone team claims this makes them “the most comprehensive crime map database in the world.”

“We believe that RedZone’s innovative technology will allow the average person to be more aware of his or her surroundings — in real time — and will enable the user to share information with others in communities all over the world,” said Ted Farnsworth, RedZone CEO and founder.

When using the app to navigate, pins appear along your route signifying where thefts or violent crimes have occurred in the last three months, enabling you to avoid the areas in question.

The app launched today for iOS users, and there’s an Android version in the pipeline.