iPhone App Review – SF Gard

iPhone App Review – SF Gard

November 28th, 2012 by

Apartment hunters, home-buyers, and people just generally curious about how much crime happens around them in San Francisco have a new app to explore the violent crime around them. SF Gard uses violent crime statistics from the SFPD in order to create a heat map of danger zones throughout San Francisco.

The map is compiled from real-time data from the San Francisco Police Department. It locates your current position through GPS and tells you whether you are in a low, moderate, or high-risk area of the city. You can also search for an address and see how risky that neighborhood is.

SF Gard is fun and informative, or at least as fun as it can be to find out that you live in a high-risk area. I’m actually curious how the app determines the designation medium and high risk, since I have lived in my current home for over 7 years and have never heard of a violent crime in the area, yet apparently my neighborhood is “high-risk” and some incident or other has occurred within a block of my place within the past 24 months. I know the service gets its data from the SFPD, and clearly SOMETHING has happened here, but I certainly don’t live in what you would refer to as a “high-risk” area. The point here being to take all of the information from this app with a grain of salt and not base your buying decisions solely on what you find here.

SF Gard also has an interesting feature that will pop up alerts when you enter a potentially dangerous area. If you’re not familiar with SF you can quickly find yourself in a bad part of town without warning, so this could actually be a useful feature for tourists or others not familiar with the area. San Francisco is actually a rather small city and the dividing line between Low and High risk is sometimes literally the difference between crossing the street.


SF Gard is a useful app that can give someone unfamiliar with San Francisco a quick glance at the crime hot-spots throughout the city. While you shouldn’t base important decisions purely on what you find in an app, it can help you see at-a-glance the areas that are undesirable to wander around. The best part is it’s free, and available right now in the App Store.

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