The 2 Shots Crew is also going out and about all over the country to conventions new and old. Like so many people out there, I am generally afraid of traveling to new places and I will research crime rates and such before going. However, not too long ago I heard about an application that would help put my mind at ease.
When I first heard of SketchFinder, I thought that it was going to be one of those drawing apps that you could send silly pictures to friends. However, I couldn’t have been more incorrect. SketchFinder is a crowdsourced navigation app that relies on the experiences of the public. In other words, if something creepy happens to you on Mayberry Lane, you can report it on the application for all to see. Not only can you report, but you can also see the experiences that others have already reported. Currently, this application is only available for iOS devices. However, the creators are working to make this application available on other operating systems in the future.
SketchFactor, which is never a substitute for the proper authorities, was created to help people that love to explore cities on foot. You can always use the application to help you plot routes through town while exploring, Whether you’re a tourist, a resident, or someone that loves to go running in the next town over; this application is a must have.
Let’s get right into the application and its functions, shall we? When you open the application for the first time, you are asked to either create an account with your email address or to log in through a Lurk account.
Since I do not have a Lurk account, I went the email route. (So far, I have not received any spam mail from SketchFinder in my inbox and I am extremely happy about that!) When creating an account, the application will ask you for these things: After creating your account, you’re ready to see what this application has to offer.
Like most applications, SketchFinder has a tutorial to show you the ropes. I definitely found this to be helpful. While the application is easy to navigate, this definitely made the process much easier.
After navigating the tutorial, you’re ready to dive right into seeing what’s being said around you. Luckily, when I first logged in, there was nothing around my area to see. However, when I looked into the neighboring city, I found a lot more. When first finding the little colored bubbles, I was a little confused; however, a quick trip into the settings set me straight.
From the settings, you can see what each level of “sketch” is from 1-5. *insert sketch factor* You can also decide what you think is sketchy. There are some headings that are bolded and others that are almost opaque. You can turn off the opaque headings one by one, but the bolded headings turn off all the opaques under them. That’s just a really rough interpretation, so you’ll have to pay with it a bit on your own until you’re happy with your settings.
One thing that I really love about this application is that it also functions as a GPS and will give you walking instructions. Along the way it will also help you find the path with the least sketchy activity. Although I have not used the application for this purpose, I’m sure that I will in the future. Since I am generally in new areas for conventions, I can definitely see me using this while going out to get food with my companions.
When checking the “sketchy” areas, you do have to take some of them with a grain of salt. Some people put up funny things, which are great to see. However, I use this application for cosplay traveling, so I usually only take heed of the serious accounts. I do believe that you can turn the sillier happenings off, but I generally just work around them.
All in all, I do really like this application and have been using it off and on as I travel. To someone that travels to a lot of new places to attend conventions (generally in downtown areas), this application is fantastic. In the short amount of time that I have been using this application, I have used it to look up all of the areas that I will be visiting in the next several months. I definitely want to recommend this to anyone that travels to new areas!