Researchers have been using Google Street View images to determine how the physical appearance of a space can influence an observer's perception of its safety. The researchers used a catalog of more than 4,000 images taken from four cities -- two in the U.S. and two in Austria. "We found images with trash in it, and took the trash out, and we noticed a 30% increase in perception of safety," said Phil Salesses, one of the study's authors. "It's surprising that something that easy had that large an effect."
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