CityMetric Advent 17: Your town's craziest Christmas decorations, mapped

More lights than house. Image: Terren in Virginia via Flickr.

Whether you love Christmas, or hate it, it helps to know where the festivities are occurring – either so you can flock to light displays and Santa's grottos, or avoid them like the plague.

Helpfully, there's now a map (and an app) for that. Nextdoor, a neighborhood mapping app, has launched a "Holiday Cheer Map" in time for Jesus's birthday. The map crowdsources Christmas donation points, events and attractions, tree vendors, Santa's grottos, and, most importantly, the locations of your area's most outlandish Christmas light displays. It puts them all together on a map of your neighborhood, a bit like this one of Seattle:

The light displays range from large public ones sponsored by shops, to smaller neighbourhood displays with enigmatic names like "Larry's Window" or "Neighbour's House". 

Unfortunately, the map only covers US towns. But perhaps this is fair enough, as the US is the unofficial world capital of terrible light displays. Take this horrible Christmas prison from Illinois:

Or the Christmas lights that dance to the tune of Gangnam Style: 

A map to help us all avoid the likes of these would be much appreciated. 


What we're reading: Understanding how the coronavirus spreads in public spaces

Risk assessment: It’s a holiday weekend in the US and UK, and where the weather is nice, people will surely want to go out. Vox has a handy chart for understanding the risks of coronavirus in different settings.

Covid-proofing: Social distancing has proven to be an effective way to slow the coronavirus, but it’s an emergency method that can’t stay in place forever. In order to get the economy going again, offices, restaurants and entertainment venues will need a dramatic overhaul. The Atlantic shares ideas to make that happen.

Vacation ghost town: With no indication of when people can safely travel again, resort towns are bracing for a summer unlike any other. CityLab reports that this weekend is the start of a critical period for vacation hotspots, but residents and businesses there expect tough times ahead.