New tool to aid socially distanced travel

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This little bit of news should send some of you who believe you are being tracked and monitored, off the deep end!  It’s a new tool currently in Beta that is designed to help those who panic too easily and who want to avoid crowds.  Yes.  Avoid the crowds!  The website is to help travelers identify areas that are less crowded in cities all around the United States.

Known as Crowdfree.me, the platform was created by a team of engineers from Tripadvisor, Slack, Amazon Web Services, and nine other technology companies. It is in beta and has a few bugs to work out.  When I played with it, I had some questions about its accuracy or if it’s actually doing what it was meant to do.  But it was kind of fun to test it out and play around with it to see the crowded areas around Las Vegas change during the day.

Tripadvisor spokesperson Brian Hoyt says the initial idea came from someone who is no longer with Tripadvisor, but another engineer still with the company took the lead on developing the platform.  Then they sought partnership with these other tech companies, whose engineers volunteered their time to develop the system.

“Crowdfree.me is intended to help consumers avoid crowds at both businesses and public places such as parks and beaches. The system uses aggregated, historical traffic data from anonymized cell phone location pings from users that have opted in to share their location via their mobile devices.”

The website also incorporates location safety scores from ViruSafe by Neura, one of the technology partners.  This is so users can identify public spaces and businesses where COVID risk rates are high. They state that the system does not store personally identifiable information, and none of the data is used for commercial purposes.
Go Ahead and Try it. Then let me know what you think!

Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony is The Vegas Tourist! Popular Tourism Ambassador, a frequent contributor to Las Vegas forums as well as travel media and bloggers. Loves to help people discover new things to see, do and experience while visiting Las Vegas and Beyond!

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