Philadelphia Vacant Land & Building Indicator Data Check

I previously wrote about Philadelphia’s innovative use of technology to identify potential vacant buildings and properties in this  Nov. 16, 2016 post. The data is readily available on the OpenDataPhilly site (link to data).

This article provides background information on how the City develops the Vacant Property Indicators. In this post I want to show how citizens can field verify the Vacant Property Indicators data.

In my District 8 travels, I found a number of chronic illegal dumping sites, including the 400 Block of Collom Street.

Based on my visits to the 400 Block of Collom St, I  know that there is a large vacant commercial property and building that is used as an illegal dumping site.  I wanted to see how the City’s Vacant Property Indicator data assessed this properties in the 400 Block of Collom Street.

Using ArcMap 10.4,  I developed a map included the Vacant Property Indicators and the Philadelphia Department of Revenue parcel boundaries.  Here is a screenshot of the resulting map:

437_collom_st_composite_map

The Vacant Property Indicator (11/16 version latest available on OpenDataPhilly) does not show 437 Collom to be vacant.

September, 2016 Google StreetView photography is available for the 400 Block of Collom Street. Here are screenshots looking NE and SW.

Google StreetView and my repeated visits to the site confirm to me that 437 Collom St is vacant while the Vacant Property Indicators do not classify the either the property or building as vacant.

I will raise this finding with the OpenDataPhilly Discussion Group (link) and will report back on any updates.

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