Tag Archives: interactive maps


There are over 40,000 vacant lots in the City of Philadelphia. These lots are eyesores and become places where crime and pollution are common. Unemployment in Philadelphia is 11.6%, meaning that 1 out of every 8 people cannot find work.

GrowShare is an online resource committed to helping citizens find jobs, clean up their community, decrease crime, and beautify their neighborhood.

Visualize Urban Ideas

GrowShare uses Google Maps & Places to provide a geospatial view of ideas in urban neighborhoods.

Recession & Bureaucracy Proof

As long as the Internet is up, your GrowShare.net’s projects and resources will continue to receive contracts on your terms.

Finding the True Cost of a Project

Project estimates are estimates. The true cost of a project is only found when it’s done. Because GrowShare.net gives every project it’s own webpage, all data for a project is aggregated in the same place. This allows users to see the true cost of each project.

Fair Compensation

Auction ensures the fairest compensation for civic resource exchanges at different levels.

Data Gathering

GrowShare gathers city data like crime & vacant lots to help users grow & share.

Open Source Technologies

We have deployed the following Open Source technologies for this project:

Google Map API

Google Places API

WeBid Auction Engine

MySQL database with temporal and spatial datasets

Twitter, FB and g+ APIs

jQuery Mobile 1.2.0


Data Sources

For this alpha release, we have tapped the following data sources:

Google Maps and Google Places

Vacant Lots, City of Philadelphia

Recreation and parks, City of Philadelphia



The GrowShare.net team is led by Professor Justin Y. Shi, Associate Professor and Associate Chairman of CIS Department at Temple University.

Team Members:

Kristiyan Georgiev | Graduate Ph.D. Candidate | CIS Department, College of Science and Technology

Brett M Statman | Senior Undergraduate | Digital Media, Tyler School of Art

William S Mantegna | Senior Undergraduate | MIS Department, Fox School of Business

Han-Lin Wu | Graduate MS Candidate | ECE Department, School of Engineering

via GrowShare.

596 Acres: Mapping New York City’s public vacant land

“Thank you for notifying the community about vacant land! I pass the lot on Myrtle between Marcy and Nostrand very often, and I always enjoy looking at the herbs and wildflowers growing there. I thought it would be a wonderful spot for a small urban farm, but I figured it might have been owned by whoever owns the condos surrounding it. You taught me different.” Email recieved on July 1, 2011, about 10 days after labeling the lot in question.

596 Acres is helping neighbors form connections to the vacant public lots in their lives.

Hundreds of acres of vacant public land exist in New York City, hidden in plain sight behind chain-link fences in neighborhoods where green space and other public amenities are scarce. We are building the tools for communities to get the keys legally and unlock all these rusty gates—and the opportunities within them. These include:

(1) making municipal information available through an online interactive map;

(2) placing signs on vacant public land that explain each lot’s status and steps that the community can take in order to be able to use this land;

(3) visioning sessions for education about public land holdings by invitation from community groups;

(4) engaging the community when an interested potential leader reaches out; and

(5) direct advocacy with New York City agencies.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/35546744 w=400&h=300]

via 596 Acres: About Us.