App alerts people to avoid unsafe areas

New York, Aug 9 (IANS): A new app is here that alerts users to avoid "sketchy" areas and provides safe walking directions in the neighbourhood.

The app has also invited some sharp reactions from people who think it will fuel racism.

Launching it on the iTunes app store for New York City users, the app will provide walking directions on a map based on user feedback and allow people to "share pro tips about what routes you take and why".

"SketchFactor is a tool for anyone, anywhere, at any time. We have a reporting mechanism for racial profiling, harassment, low lighting, desolate areas, weird stuff, you name it," its developers Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington said in a web site post.

According to McGuire, she was inspired to create the app after living in Washington, DC, as a young non-profit worker.

In addition to user data, the app also incorporates public crime data and trusted sources.

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