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The Problem.

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia had a wealth of information about historic buildings and properties, but finding that information meant digging through numerous maps and databases. The Alliance asked me to build a single interactive map to bring together all of these historic resources using open source tools.

The Solution.

I began by consolidating and standardizing four existing inventories of historic resources: African American Historic Sites, Historic Religious Sites, Mid-Century Modern Architectural Resources and Pride of Place Neighborhood Landmarks. After geocoding and de-duplicating these records, I built at PostGIS spatial database that linked them to historic register designations and other publicly-available data. Finally, I used Django to build an interactive map application that makes it easy to explore nearly 7,000 historic properties. In the process, I gained a new appreciation for the history, architecture and cultural geography of Philadelphia.

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