Blockee helps residents and city officials visualize improvements

Visualize improvements to your neighborhood with Blockee

Posted 21 Nov 2012 by 

(5 votes)
Fix your block the open source way
Image by :

Blockee is a web application that lets you visualize improvements to your block. It was built as a Labs Friday project by Jesse Bounds, Nick Doiron, Serena Wales and myself. You can try it out at

Initially the app was made as a steam valve, a way to work on something fun. A goof that let us play with node.js, canvas, sparkles, and multiple APIs. A goof we hoped would get a few people thinking about their neighborhood.

With more than 10,000 visits since it launched in September the response to Blockee has been a surprise.

Some of the visits can be seen on Blockee’s Tumblr (beta) that automatically grabs and displays shared Blockees.

Jason Hibbets (@jhibbets) of Raleigh, N.C. used blockee in a See Click Fix post about needing crosswalks, and the city of Raleigh, N.C. responded with a work order.

Blockee by Jason Hibbets, crosswalk

This got us thinking about how easy it would be to integrate Blockee with See Click Fix or Open 311 and create a Blockee that would report problems:

Dr. Blockee

Andrew Nicklin (@technickle) tweeted about the possibility of using Blockee as a community-facing tool for New York. Exciting because NYC is a 2013 CfA city and my hometown.

Other potential uses include: A teaching aid for children. A planning and zoning tool. Simply tailoring it to suit specific non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity.

But our fellowship is over.

So we invite you to fork, steal, copy, transmogrify, re-use or improve Blockee.

Blockee’s GitHub repo can be found here.

Originally posted on Code for America. Reposted under Creative Commons.