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Beautiful Streets: two former Code for America fellows launch a ‘Hot or Not’ for Philly blocks

“Which street is more beautiful?” That’s the choice you have to make to participate in Beautiful Streets, a new experiment by two former Code for America fellows now at OpenPlans who are seeking to quantify what exactly makes a street beautiful. Mjumbe Poe and Aaron Ogle, both of whom Technically Philly covered extensively during their year […]

“Which street is more beautiful?”

That’s the choice you have to make to participate in Beautiful Streets, a new experiment by two former Code for America fellows now at OpenPlans who are seeking to quantify what exactly makes a street beautiful.

Mjumbe Poe and Aaron Ogle, both of whom Technically Philly covered extensively during their year as Code for America fellows in 2011, helped build Beautiful Streets, which consists of 200 randomly selected shots of Philadelphia blocks captured by Google Street View. Experiment participants look through picture pairs and click the picture they think is most beautiful. Poe and Ogle’s team will analyze the data that is produced to see what they can understand about what we deem beautiful.

Poe and Ogle, both software developers, joined up with OpenPlans after their CFA year and have been working on Beautiful Streets through OpenPlans Civic Works team. Though the open source urban innovation shop OpenPlans is based in the 67th ward, both Poe and Ogle, who lived in Philly before their CFA year, are still living here, mostly working out of Old City coworking shop Indy Hall.

The experiment, which just might avoid block specifics to avoid neighborhood bias, launched on Valentine’s Day. You can participate by clicking here.

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Yael Borofsky was the lead reporter for Technically Philly from from December 2011 to June 2012 before leaving to pursue an urban studies graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously she was an editor with the Breakthrough Journal in San Francisco. She loves hockey and coffee.

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