Change Project (Center for Suburban Statistics)


As a frequent visitor of the suburbs, I am often distressed to find that, despite decades of technological progress, few have found ways to combat the issue of these neighborhoods’ aesthetic banality. A perfect example of this plight can be seen on the street where my grandparents live, Grandview Avenue. For this project, I chose to focus on the fact that it appears as though every house in their neighborhood was designed by the same firm and, because of this, each looks fairly similar.

I began with a question: Does the brick or stone used on the houses follow some kind of color-driven pattern? I hypothesized that yes, the color values of the siding most likely follows a Normal Distribution. To test my hypothesis I sampled every house on the street to find the color value of each. This gave me a sample size, n=48. I proceeded by finding the approximate average color for each home using Photoshop’s Average and Color Picker tools. The procedure is shown below:

Google Maps was used to find images of each house on Grandview Avenue. Unfortunately, this presents a level of error, as the colors from Google Maps’ Street View are not necessarily accurate to the color of each home. However, I argue that this level of inaccuracy would be an issue, regardless of where I sourced my images from.

With this in place, I was able to find the RGB values of each home. However, I chose to convert these values to an HSL scale (Hue, Saturation, and Lightness) for greater accuracy of information. This was done through a converting application (the math behind this conversion can be explained, but I don’t find it relevant to my process.

At this point I was able to collect all of my data into one table, as shown below in this example. This table includes the specific address of each home, and its RGB and HSL values.

Using this data I was able to conduct a simple statistical analysis of the HSL values of the homes on Grandview Avenue. This analysis was conducted via numerical and graphical means:


Finally, this information was graphed into histograms, which give us a sense of the data’s center, spread, skew, shape, modality, and possible outliers.

With this information, I believe that I can conclude with decent certainty that the homes of Grandview Avenue follow a fairly unimodal distribution, and that the average stone color is somewhat normally distributed. However, I would like to employ further testing to be more certain of my findings. For anyone who’s wondering, the following swatch is an example of the average HSL value of Grandview Avenue. The exact color value is H:22.3, S: 23.5267%, L: 28.1467%


I plan on sending a letter to each household on Grandview Avenue under the name of The Center for Suburban Statistics with details of this information.

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