CODES IN YOUR LIFE

Spot Study
To contribute a photographic spot study like this one to the Codes Project, follow Steps #1-3 and #11 below. Then select a location in your study area where one or two photographs will illustrate some meaningful neighborhood evolution. Your code/map pop-ups will spring from them. When your material is assembled, visit the Submit page for the preferred format.

Synoptic Survey
To execute a full Synoptic Survey (Transect/Quadrat/Dissect), follow all the steps on this page. The purpose of the Synoptic Survey is twofold. It allows you to compare the existing metrics and types with what was coded at different times, or what existed at different times. It also lets you extract the DNA of a good place to create your own codes. It's how the model SmartCode is calibrated for local character.

1. IDENTIFY an area accessible to you whose code you want to research. (Make sure it has a code.) Identify the potential Transect Zone(s) based on Table 1 and Table 14 of the SmartCode.

2. RESEARCH online and actual archives to locate plans and maps. Some good online sources are listed here. Be sure you get permission to use source materials. You may have to credit sources on your web page.

3. FIND map and code combinations that are contemporaneous. Choose one historic and one present-day pair.

4. DOWNLOAD the Synoptic Survey urban analysis forms here. Save the InDesign file to create your finished digital file. Use the PDF to print out for notetaking.

5. PRINT one copy of the form to take into the field for each zone or condition that you want to analyze.

6. WALK your site. Select exemplary conditions and measure them, either by pacing or a surveyor's wheel, or by map analysis. Some plat maps already show metrics like lot widths, block lengths, and building heights. Record typology, like frontage type and building disposition type.

7. RECORD data on the Dissect portion of the form. Most of the Quadrat section can be done from a satellite image, though you may have to count doorbells/mailboxes or ask building managers about units to ascertain the density in a multifamily area.

8. PHOTOGRAPH two views of an exemplary condition represented by your sheet. For the Public Frontage, it is usually best to stand on the sidewalk approximately where a planting strip would be, and shoot at an angle to include some of the private frontage and all of the sidewalk, and catch a bit of the far side of the thoroughfare. For the Private Frontage, in the same area showing the same building(s), stand in the street and shoot the entire frontage from lot line to facade. Include entire lot width if possible; building height is less important. Shoot at a slight angle so you can see some of the side setback, if it shows. Try to keep the camera back parallel to the building facades. See the samples on this page. Photograph some other conditions to include on your web page to show the character of the area, such as thoroughfare details, frontage types, or civic space.

10. CREATE a web page or pages that can be linked to this website. Keep it simple; don't try to address everything in the code(s) but choose a few essentials. Use the models on this website as a guide.

11. LINK us to your primary sources.

Download the Synoptic Survey Forms here. 
PDF printable file
InDesign editable file