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GSD&M’s Brilliant App For People Trying to Avoid SXSW Crowds

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Hey, Austinites! SXSW officially kicked off today! Have you already started moaning about the descent of more than 100,000 technophiles, film snobs, and music scenesters who will surely overrun every one of your favorite hangouts? Are you wondering where you’ll get a decent breakfast taco or stiff cocktail without having to wait in a line that rivals the length of Franklin Barbecue’s queue? Austin-based ad agency GSD&M launched “Avoid Humans,” an app that draws on Foursquare data to find out what places are mobbed and which ones are relatively crowd-free.

Avoidhumans.com divides businesses into four categories–restaurants, bars, coffee houses, and “refuge”–and uses a color-coded system to warn users of crowd levels. Green is “comparable to the number of vegans at Franklin Barbecue,” Yellow means that “Like a 3 a.m. food truck burrito, proceed with caution,” and Red lets you know the place is “more crowded than a UT football game when the UT football team was good.” 

The one big flaw in “Avoid Humans” is there are no reviews of the ghost-town spots, so a little extra research might be necessary to make sure you aren’t wandering into a place with watery margaritas or a health-code violation that would have Marvin Zindler turning in his grave. But the idea is novel and one locals (and visitors experiencing a bit of sensory overload) will surely appreciate. 

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