Buying a home is likely one of the biggest decisions of a person’s life from a financial perspective. For this reason, Home Tribe aims to help people use data and science to make better and more informed decisions related to buying a home. In addition to our Home Tribe Match function, which relies heavily on numerous datasets related to real estate, we will be expanding our blog to bring some of this data out from behind the scenes, and to showcase other cool information that is relevant or just plain awesome. 


Through our participation with the vibrant community of data enthusiasts  in Edmonton, we recently came across a request to redeploy the open source Chicago Building Age Map for Edmonton. The Home Tribe team was excited to take on the challenge. View the visualization of the City of Edmonton’s Building Age Map. 

Creating a local version of this map required some pretty intense data, including one of my personal favourite datasets that has been released through the City of Edmonton’s Open Data Catalogue: the rooflines dataset. I love this set because of the sheer amount of info it contains, which is clearly evident when you load it as a map. Combining this with the more recently released data on the year each building in Edmonton was built, allowed our team to put together the crazy visualization that you see below.

To really give the map a local feel, we figured it would be important to customize the date ranges that allow for focusing on specific periods of Edmonton’s history. Edmonton’s Architectural Heritage website divides our history into five major periods including “Urban Settlement”, “Urban Growth”, “The War Years” and “The Post War Years”. This was a great place to start, but we thought it would also be worthwhile looking at how population changed in Edmonton, and of course when there were major construction booms. Neighbourhood planner and Spruce Avenue Neighbourhood Historian, Wesley Andreas, also helped confirm and refine our planned time periods. Combining much of this information, and balancing it with the actual number of buildings built in each time period from the dataset displayed, we were able to subtly improve the history lesson that goes along with this quite eye-catching display of two extremely intense city datasets.

Have some fun; try to find the answers to these questions:

  • What did the city look like at the end of WWII?
  • When was your house built and how does this align with nearby areas?
  • In what areas has the city been expanding most in the last decade or so?


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