By now you've probably heard about Walkscore, a website that scores addresses on how walkable they are. Basically it takes into account the amount and diversity of businesses, parks, libraries, etc. within "walking distance" of an address and assigns a score. Presumably super-rural addresses would get a low Walkscore.
We think an interesting application of this service is to check a college's Walkscore and factor it into your college selection process. Depending on how important it is to be able to adventure in the area around your campus on foot, you might weight the Walkscore more or less highly in your selection criteria.
At the right is the Walkscore map of Harvard University. As you can see, there is lots to do within walking distance, earning Harvard a 98/100 on the walkability scale. This is not surprising, since Harvard is right in the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts and not far from Boston. Just out of curiosity, we looked at how walkable the United States' top universities were. Here's what we found: