Blockee helps residents and city officials visualize improvements

Visualize improvements to your neighborhood with Blockee

Posted 21 Nov 2012 by 

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Fix your block the open source way
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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.