The Loveland Blog

Page 22

Digitizing Maps Showing Locations of Flint's Lead Pipes

By Alex Alsup on January 30, 2016

Ari Shapiro from NPR posted a photo on Instagram with the comment: "These are the maps that will help people in #flint figure out which pipes are made of lead and need to be replaced."

At first glance it looks like an old Sanborn map, but we don't think it is. Perhaps it's some kind of engineering map drawn up by Flint itself. As best we understand, no digitized version of the map exists. But if the people of Flint are to understand exposure, impact, and removal needs, they'll need to digitize that data and match it up with other existing information, like which houses are occupied.

I took a stab at digitizing just the bit of the map captured in Ari's photo using LOVELAND's Site Control software. That's what it's designed for -- capturing parcel based data in an updatable, sharable format, with multiple data sources overlaid. So if we can get at those Sanborn maps, we can digitize the rest for the city.

Below is the map I made digitizing the data in Ari's image. In Ari's photo he points to a notation on a property that reads "L+C". I assume this refers to the type of pipes connected to the property, though I'm not certain -- maybe "Lead + Copper"? I've highlighted in red in this map the properties in Ari's photo that had the "L+C" notation.

Click any parcel to see the data from the Sanborn map. If you click the "Basic" tab on a property, you'll see imagery of the property and ownership and assessment information.

If you have info on these maps, please let us know

Sample Flint Sanborn Map Digitized in Site Control

Press Release: A SCHOOL DISTRICT IN CRISIS: Detroit’s Public Schools 1842-2015

By Jerry Paffendorf on January 24, 2016

For Immediate Release: A Highly Visual Look at Detroit Public Schools From 1842-2015

A brand new report called A SCHOOL DISTRICT IN CRISIS: Detroit’s Public Schools 1842-2015, by Detroit-based mapping company LOVELAND Technologies, is now available at

It is a highly visual, very readable, deeply comprehensive look at Detroit Public Schools since its beginning, told in pictures, maps, stats, and common language.

Included in the report are hundreds of new photographs taken by LOVELAND surveyors who visited every single DPS property, rare historic photographs mined from archives, an interactive map of all 470+ Detroit public schools that have ever existed since 1842, and an even-handed narrative about issues the school system has faced throughout its history.

As DPS teachers protest poor school conditions, and as the eyes of the world turn to Michigan trying to understand the impact of our Emergency Management laws, this report is a timely primer on where DPS came from, how it evolved, and where it currently stands, financially, physically, and socially.

It is designed to be readable by and informative to the general public, teachers, students, and policy makers.

The report is the result of more than a year and a half of independent research and surveying by LOVELAND Technologies. All of the content is being made freely available, and to cover costs, LOVELAND is inviting readers to pay what they want, hoping to raise $25,000 from people paying as little as $1.

Please feel free to link to the report, use images, pull quotes, or remix the content however you would like, with a link back and an attribution to LOVELAND Technologies.

For questions please email or call 313-338-3825.

Thank you very much,


LOVELAND Technologies

1514 Washington Blvd, Suite 201

Detroit, MI 48226

Tracking Change - 1/17

By Dexter Slusarski on January 21, 2016

Over 18,328 property transfer affidavits were filed between 1/11 - 1/15 with the City of Detroit. 16,004 of those transfers were the Wayne County Treasurer finalizing the transfer of ownership from the 2015 Tax Foreclosure Auction, making the county the third largest landholder in the City of Detroit behind the Detroit Land Bank and the City of Detroit.

Breaking Down The Wayne County Transfer

This bundle of unsold properties represent $80,414,149.40 in unpaid taxes. We used data from Motor City Mapping to analyze the bulk of these properties and found that over half of the properties have structures and over 6,000 of those structures are in either fair or good condition. Out of the 8,000+ structures over 6,000 are in either good or fair condition and 2,526 are occupied.

Property Condition

It's likely that most of these properties are heading to the Detroit Land Bank in the next few weeks. Check out the map below to get a preview of new DLBA auction properties or side lots. Click a neighborhood below to see what's available.

The Rest

The other 2,324 properties transferred last week were primarily privately owned. 657 of those transfers were properties that were bought through the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure auction last fall. We were able to use the auction data to connect BIG TEX PROPERTIES I LLC to Theodore Bank who purchased 77 properties for $227,632. Since the auction, 69 of these 77 properties have been separated into 7 different LLCS with either Joseph Burke or Nathan Helzer as the registered agent. This tactic isn't anything new, it's used quite often all over the country, but it's important to note because it happens in Detroit and often times can make the process of contacting the owner responsible for caring for properties extremely difficult. Check out the list of Burke's LLCs:

Properties NOT transferred by the Treasurer last week

Tracking Change

By Dexter Slusarski on December 14, 2015

This week, we're sharing a new project that we're working on heading into 2016 - tracking ownership change across the City of Detroit. Through our work, we know that updated property ownership information is invaluable to neighborhoods and community members in Detroit. Over the next year, we are going to be updating our ownership data in Detroit on a weekly basis and tracking every single change in Site Control, which is now available to everyone interested in collecting and mapping data.

This analysis is made possible through Property Transfer Affadavits. Currently, when ownership change occurs the City of Detroit requires the new property owner to file the property transfer affidavit with the City of Detroit's Assessors Office within 45 days, or face a maximum penalty of $200. Below, you'll find a map of property transfer affidavits registered with the City of Detroit from December 7th - 11th. This data is coming directly from the City of Detroit's BS&A Property Portal.

We categorized properties by owner type, distinguishing between publicly owned (owned by the city or a land bank), privately owned, and bank-owned properties. Out of a total of 1436 properties, 514 are publicly-owned, 916 are private, and 6 are owned by banks.

The Detroit Land Bank is the top transferer this week, with 428 properties. Of these, 404 are vacant lots, which leads us to believe that the city is catching up on transfers from earlier this year.. The second top transferee, DETROIT 123 LLC, purchased all of their properties through the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction under the name Gideon Pfeffer.

You can download the data in the map interface by clicking "List" and then "Download CSV". We've added both Motor City Mapping data and Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Data. Please download it and check it out.