On a hot summer day, a street without trees might feel 15 or 20 degrees hotter than a shaded street nearby. But most mapping tools—designed with drivers in mind—don’t give pedestrians any details about whether a particular route will be a comfortable walk. A new app from a public agency in Barcelona, called Cool Walks, is different, letting users choose the shadiest route between two points.
When someone uses the app to get walking directions, there’s an option to see the fastest route. But the app also shows a shady alternative, and a third option called “vampire mode” that lets pedestrians completely avoid the sun. The app also shows the locations of drinking fountains and shelter along the route.