If you’re looking for cheap food, head to Adams Morgan or Chinatown. If you’d like a bar with a patio, try Dupont Circle. And if you like your nightlife with a little less hipster, stay far away from 14th Street, H Street and the U Street corridor, at least according to Yelp reviewers. Because those are, for better or worse, the hippest neighborhoods around.
These insights come courtesy a nifty new Yelp feature called Wordmap, which the consumer reviews site launched yesterday. Wordmap basically searches Yelp reviews for certain keywords -- “cheap,” “patio,” “hipster,” “bacon” -- and shows you where reviewers use them most frequently.
“People come to Yelp to read and write reviews, look at photos and find business information, but that data houses even more local knowledge than we can see on the surface,” says a company data scientist on Yelp’s official blog. “Enter the Yelp Wordmap: a heat map showing density of keywords used in Yelp reviews to reveal fascinating patterns of local discovery.”
For the most part, D.C.’s map aligns well with what you might expect, even down to the individual bar or restaurant. When you search “PBR,” for instance, the map lights up around U Street, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights -- with two distinct dots over Wonderland and Red Derby. Reviewers frequently mention tourists when they talk about the swath of real estate north of the Mall. And the word “view” is used often along the Georgetown and Southwest waterfronts, as well as on the Arlington Memorial Bridge -- which, yes, you can review on Yelp.
There are, of course, some outliers. People regularly drop the word “cheap” in reviews of Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Cleveland Park restaurants -- we can assume they’re discussing only the closest Chipotle. Reviewers also seem to find Adams Morgan romantic. (Maybe they're referring to Mintwood Place?)
For more dubious (but interesting!) insights, check out Yelp’s live Wordmap here. And in case you’re curious, there also are versions for New York, Philadelphia and 11 other cities.