Detailed within a post on the official Yelp blog, the review aggregation company has launched a new feature that allows users to view heatmaps based of specific keywords used within reviews. Displayed on a map of a major metropolitan area, Yelp Wordmap can help you avoid or locate hangouts that cater to a specific clientele, offer a certain type of food or are easy on the wallet. Clicking on a keyword along the left side of the interface will display a new heatmap and allow the user to focus their search to a specific area.
For instance, if someone wants to avoid hipsters in Los Angeles, it’s probably best not to venture into the Silver Lake area between the 101 and the 5. If someone is looking for a frat bar in Chicago, the highest concentration of that keyword is located between Lincoln Park and Lakeview. If someone doesn’t want to live around yuppies in New York City, they should probably stay away from the dark red area between the East Village and Little Italy.
While each area has a couple specific keywords relevant to local users, common keywords on the Wordmap include tourist, view, bacon, cheap, pricey, valet, hangover, PBR, BYOB, cocktails, sketchy, romantic, valet and patio. While locals are probably going to have most of the city figured out already based off word of mouth and personal experience, this type of heatmap could be extremely helpful for someone that just moved to a big city and are looking for like-minded people to meet.
Unfortunately, the Yelp Wordmap feature hasn’t rolled out all over the world yet. At the moment, Yelp is making the heatmap available to residents and visitors of Austin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington D.C.. In addition, you can’t simply choose your own keyword and create a new heatmap search. However, it’s possible that Yelp could add more keywords and expand to new areas if the feature becomes widely utilized among Yelp users.