To foreigners coming to Buenos Aires, everything seems like a blur of sky-high buildings and even higher platform shoes. It’s hard to get an informed mental map of a city when you’re new in town.
This conundrum is not lost on Hoodmaps. Created by self-described nomad Pieter Levels, this crowd-sourced platform allows natives of the city to “paint” different areas of Buenos Aires with six colors coded under tags “uni”, “hipsters”, “tourists”, “rich”, “suits”, and “normies,” as well as manually input labels, so that clueless tourists can get a quick survey of the city from an insider’s perspective. The design is beautifully democratic: if someone posts a label you disagree with (“Narcissistic Craft Beer Snob” above your house in Palermo Soho), you can “downvote” it to cancel out their opinion.
Well, it’s confirmed: The Bubble’s Palermo Hollywood headquarters might as well be located in Portland as indicated by the bright yellow zoning users have input to the local Hoodmap.
The tool has a more serious purpose, as well. Urban planners and architects use Hoodmaps to view how the public perceives their own city. By gathering this data, they can optimize development for residents.
It’s also just fun. The CEO of Apple Tim Cook described it as “If Google Maps and Urban Dictionary had a love child,” but Hoodmaps also has a bit of Yelp — you can indicate the best restaurants and bars — and Snapchat (there’s something very Snap Maps about the spontaneous aesthetic) — thrown in.
In other words, if you’re a native, everyone wants your knowledge of where all the suits and normies hang out. You can also view tons of other major cities on the website for when you go abroad here.