Another resource and ally in the Open Data movement (as I've written about in previous blog posts) has popped up online as of last week: CultureBlocks.com.
CultureBlocks is a free web-based mapping tool that collects cultural data and assets throughout Philadelphia (i.e. schools, rec centers, public transportation, parks, and libraries) which can be combined with economic, demographic and geographic census data (i.e. neighborhoods, council districts, and school catchments) to create detailed and robust maps to inform individuals and organizations on arts initiatives, investments, and neighborhood revitilization.
The Free Library is an integral part of neighborhoods in Philadelphia and invaluable cultural asset in the city that promotes literacy and the arts.
The site was launched by the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy; the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce; The Reinvestment Fund’s (TRF) Policy Map; and the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SAIP) at the University of Pennsylvania; and is supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and ArtPlace.
The web-tool is being managed by the Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy, which will coordinate the use of CultureBlocks among City agencies and provide technical assistance to public users. Moira Baylson, Deputy Cultural Officer of the OACCE, says, "The vision of CultureBlocks is to use data to foster economic and social vitality in Philadelphia neighborhoods."
Overall, CultureBlocks it is a very robust site and great tool to learn more about the arts and how they relate to the neighbrohoods that make Philadelphia a vibrant, exciting, and interesting place to live, work, and visit.
In related news, be on the lookout for some new map updates and features from Free Library in the coming weeks!