Civic Commons of Philadelphia

April 2015

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High Average Low

This map shows the perceived quality of places that play a public or civic role in the city. Using self-reported categories on the website Yelp.com, we cast a wide net to collect this data and are showing only those locations with at least four reviews. Because data points are existing only for those places that Yelp users have reviewed, many are missing.

This is a proof of concept testing the viability of using perceptions of the city to help locate future investments and efforts in the civic commons. It is presented as a tool to show us the assets we have: good, bad, and everything in between.

In 2015 consumer culture dominates, and ratings sites like Yelp are popular among early adopters. How might a more refined version of this map be useful to encourage a similar level of attention towards the civic commons? What do the highs and lows of a map such as this tell us about the psychogeography of the city?

Note:
Yelp is a popular consumer ratings site used mostly for restaurants, so this map is not intended to be scientifically accurate. Yelp’s audience is particular (more info here), and this influences the ratings.

Credits:
Cartography & Code by Stamen, Concept by Dash Marshall