Mapping Initiative Results Summary

We’ve received the final data from this ground breaking effort. The results were delayed slightly in part to unforeseen staffing issues at the state level and the sheer magnitude of the collected information.

The Map

Publically collected data is not perfect.  Since we’re looking for trends, this collection method is well suited.  Mistakes aside, one may begin to see patterns in neighborhood conditions that tell a story. We believe that transparency and engagement is the key to Sharon’s future. Join us.

To toggle layers on and off, click on “Details” in the upper left and then on “Content” below (may be an icon or drop menu depending on your device and browser). “Basemap” allows you to select a different underlying map.

View Map

Operational Results Summary

  • All of the collection maps were assigned. 
  • We had 134 registered volunteers with approximately 70 participating on the day of the event. Many surveyed on their own schedule as collection lasted two weeks (one week before the event and one week after).
    • Many volunteers came back for more properties during the collection.
    • Nearly one third of our volunteers were not from Sharon. 
  • Five thousand surveys were submitted via mobile device.
    • For reasons not yet obvious about 600 structures went uncollected (update: all were collected and verified during the summer of 2019).
    • A few specific iPhone models froze during the survey. They were unusable after this.
    • Because of the wide variety of mobile device chip-sets and operating systems, many GPS pins dropped inaccurately and required manual post-processing.
    • Our support hotline experienced eight calls; each with a different topic.
  • Final collection and verification was done in the summer of 2019 and the final map of 5,304 houses was completed in November of 2019.
    • 3,381 houses were graded “Good”.
    • 1,229 houses were graded “Fair”.
    • 344 houses were graded “Poor”.
    • 350 houses were graded “Apparently Abandoned”.

Qualitative Summary

  • The publicity for the event was significant and reflected well on Sharon and the entire valley. So much so, that we believe the data may indicate Sharon’s “best case” scenario. More than one volunteer indicated that lawns in their neighborhood (which hadn’t been maintained all summer) suddenly became manicured in the week leading up to the September 15, 2018 event.
  • Many residents came out of their homes to challenge surveyors. As far as we know, all interactions ended in a positive manner and resulted in important feedback (generally) regarding code enforcement and disengaged property owners.
  • Media Coverage:


  • This was the largest crowd-sourced neighborhood conditions collection ever attempted in Pennsylvania.
  • The teamwork and over-planning for this was significant. Software research, survey authoring, map assignments, publicity, and event-staffing, are examples. This was a large undertaking.
  • Our partners were many; the State Historical Preservation Office; Mercer County GIS, IT, and tax departments; Mercer County Planning Commission; the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce; Sharon Historical Society; and the City of Sharon.
  • While this assembly made up the foundation of the Sharon Mapping Initiative, it was the volunteer participation from our entire valley that made this event successful.
  • This survey technique may have saved Sharon between $50 – 100k.  It will serve as a template for small cities in our state for years to come.

What’s Next?

There are several layers of data acquisition and manipulation that have yet to occur.   The map will grow and continue to provide important information for our community, city, and business representatives.  The bottom line is that we (Sharon citizens) want to provide planning information with data and options.  Of course, there are and will-be many opinions, but where do we start?  What can we do?  How do we alleviate blight and protect our amazingly historical town? 

If you would like to help us analyze and evaluate this data, contact us!