Mapping a Changed NYC

StreetCred Team - April 30, 2020

The map of New York City has changed dramatically in recent weeks. As stores and restaurants closed in response to important COVID-19 regulations, the maps we all rely on became inaccurate overnight. In response, we launched an interactive map tracking these changes in real time.

Even when the city re-opens, we’ll be in uncharted waters. No one knows what businesses will re-open—or when. To capture this information, we’re launching MapNYC—the second localized version of our global mapping contest. Players will collect point-of-interest data in their neighborhoods, and we’ll use it to create a crowdsourced map that reflects what’s still open. It’s our hope that as things get back to normal(ish), this tool can not only provide valuable data, but also help local businesses survive the uncertain economic future.

All the data players collect is showcased in a live interactive map.

We’re planning to launch the contest on May 4. As the weather gets warmer, we’re seeing the once-deserted streets fill up again with locals seeking exercise and fresh air. Playing StreetCred offers a way to accomplish both goals. It’s a solitary outdoor activity, so players can occupy themselves outside while still adhering to social distancing requirements, and while we often market the game as a way to “explore your city,” winning doesn’t require leaving the comfort of your neighborhood. On the other hand, we’re cognizant that the health crisis is far from over. As in Jakarta, we’re urging players in NYC to maintain social distancing if necessary and follow local regulations. As the launch date gets closer, we’ll share updates on Twitter.

Why NYC?

While partner demand played a role in our decision to launch in NYC, we primarily felt a sense of responsibility to help our hometown address the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the usual Bitcoin prizes to incentivize participation, we’ll be working with a local charity partner to support COVID-19 relief efforts in affected NYC communities. Players will be able to allot a portion of their prizes to charity, and we’ll donate additional funds based on key participation totals, allowing local players to directly help out their community.

As one of the cities hit hardest by the epidemic and its economic consequences, NYC provides a useful test case for this new model. In the upcoming months, we plan to roll out similar features in additional cities in the US and across the world. If you're interested in subscribing to place data in targeted regions, feel free to reach out.