Sharon volunteers orchestrate largest electronic mapping in Pennsylvania

Local News

Around 6,500 homes in Sharon are being electronically mapped by volunteers to determine which areas need renovations through grant money. 

The project, which is the largest electronic mapping of a city in Pennsylvania, is done through an app called Survey 123.  

The app allows volunteers to take pictures of houses in Sharon, which are stored in the app for the local government to use as data.  

“Through the data, we are able to obtain grants and really strategically plan,” Holmes said.  

She said these grants can help some families fix their homes.  

“We have some housing rehabilitation grants if we know where some of the houses are that need help. Then maybe we can reach out to those people,” Holmes said.  

The mapping project will have other benefits for Sharon too, she said.  

“If we know where some of our stronger areas are, maybe we can sort of work with them on other projects,” said Holmes.  

It typically takes years and a lot of money to map houses electronically, which the city said it does not have.  

To make up for this, volunteers will be assigned a map and given a bag, a vest and water. They will then take pictures of the houses to establish their condition.  

Brian Kepple, a volunteer, said when he finishes taking the pictures on the app, he is asked to answer a set of questions.  

“Checking the materials of the house, the roofing, the siding, the foundation and then finally making a judgement of the house’s condition,” Kepple said.  

He said volunteering like this helps the city tremendously.  

“It’s making it easier for applying for grants in the future and making it easier for the city officials to see where the issues are,” Kepple said.  

The data from the app will be placed into a grid for the city to study by the end of next week. 

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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