Monday, May 17, 2010

"Like a Pittsburgh Wikipedia"

For the record I think the city's new website focused on neighborhoods is a good idea and looks well implemented.  Certainly a big media rollout with news coverage in both PG and the Trib.  The Trib piece has a quote of note.  Someone says the new site is: "It's like a Pittsburgh Wikipedia,".   You know... if you seach for "Pittsburgh Neighborhoods" on the web the first result you probably get is the literal Wikipedia entry for Pittsburgh Neighborhoods with an interactive map pointing you toward a wiki page for each neighborhood. Some are sparse, but some neighborhoods have pretty extensive writeups. Might be an interesting academic paper to compare and contrast what information is on the two sites. 

For the advanced cartophiles who want to drill down into neighborhood maps we allow partial access to the general public of our Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System. Zoom right down to your house for the neat stuff. One of the stories above mentions a survey of residents by neighborhood.  For contrast for where we were 30 years ago, I really think the last comprehensive neighborhood level survey done of city residents is this survey from 1980 completed by the late Roger Ahlbrandt whom I have mentioned before. (we'd love to do that survey again btw...  unfortunately it's not cheap to have a survey large enough to get reportable results for each neighborhood in the city).   He wrote a lot about neighborhoods and community development here in Pittsburgh and if you want to understand how we got from there to here (define 'there' and 'here' as you wish) I would start with some of his writings.  Also, my colleagues all just got back from a conference of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership at the Urban Institute.


Anonymous Guyascutus said...

Wikimapia has a lot of potential, tho' at the time being, most of the writeups are terribly rudimentary.

Monday, May 17, 2010 1:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point, the site is largely just random bogus civic boosterism.

I entered seven variables that I think reflect my neighborhood--Squirrel Hill--and what I do there: diversity; biking; My Neighbors; close to everything; parks & playgrounds; nature; and walking.

The top 3 neighborhoods deemed to most closely match these features were Regent Square, S.S. Flats and Central Northside. Of course, I can quibble with these selections on many points, but whatever.

What really surprised me though was that Squirrel Hill was not listed among the 17 other neighborhoods that were also suggested for my consideration. Is Allegheny Center really a better place that Squirrel Hill for neighbors, parks, playgrounds, nature, diversity, walk and biking?

If I didn't know better, I'd say Luke just has it in for us because we didn't support him. Before you know it, there'll be no one left in Squirrel Hill because they all migrated to Allegheny West and Brighton Heights to be "close to everything"!

Monday, May 17, 2010 3:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. I don't mean to belabor this, but a single variable, "diversity" returns Allegheny West, Friendship and S.S. Flats as the top matches. I really thought that Squirrel Hill was the most diverse neighborhood in the city. Or does "diversity" just mean having an African-American population, although that would pretty much leave out S.S. Flats, I think, and actually, probably Allegheny West, depending on how you define it.
So what am I missing?

Monday, May 17, 2010 3:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that Stanton Heights is one of Pittsburgh's top three neighborhoods for "multi-cultural experiences"? And Squirrel Hill is not among the 20 that I should consider, should I be looking for multi-cultural experiences.

Hoo boy.

Monday, May 17, 2010 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger nbguzna said...

Should have just had this be a city-wide focus to improve the neighborhood wikipedia pages...

Monday, May 17, 2010 6:44:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

I've tried several combinations and I can't get it to return Squirrel Hill on the long list. So I think this must be some sort of error in the programming or database (or a conspiracy, of course).

So I guess we are about to find out how responsive they are to feedback.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I find it hard to believe so many people question data presented to them. Has anyone considered the possibility that nobody would want to live in Squirrel Hill?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I thought that the website is poorly put together and does not add anything that can’t already be found, in a more useable format, on other websites.
The photos that are listed for some of the neighborhoods have absolutely nothing to do with many of those neighborhoods. Often the photos are of things and places in other states that just happen to have the same name as the community.

Some of the community info, esp. re Knoxville, stating that many of the homes are in disrepair, is derogatory. Many of the homes in Fox Chapel, Sq. Hill or Mt. Lebo are in disrepair too but I don't think that you will find that info publicly stated anywhere.

Congratulations to the Mayor's Office. You have succeed in wasting the tax payers money on a useless , poorly designed, inaccurate, derogatory website and in pissing off your constituents in Sq. Hill and on the South Side Hilltop as well.

That was another inaccuracy on the web site, Carrick was listed as being known as the "Hilltop." Carrick is only as small part of the "Hilltop." Knoxville is much more commonly referred to as being the "Hilltop" as the hilltop begins in Knoxville and Hilltop High School was in Knoxville. The Hilltop includes everything from the top of the hill of the South Side Slopes back through Brentwood.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Has anyone considered the possibility that nobody would want to live in Squirrel Hill?

Certainly nobody who has to find a place to park a car there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:24:00 AM  

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