Archive for December, 2010

Neighborhoods

So while visiting the team in Detroit last week we talked about expanding the neighborhood maps beyond Corktown, and making an overview map along the lines of Interhoods. Jerry and I stopped by the Detroit city offices to pay taxes on the Plymouth microhood and ask if the city has official digital records of what neighborhoods exist. The assessors sent us next door to the GIS department. The fellow there helped us looked through their data sets, but none of them even resembled the areas that people actually talk about when they talk about their city. Mystifying legal or political block groupings from days of yore, but nothing meaningful to ordinary folk.

The neighborhoods in San Francisco, from Interhoods, with the Mission highlighted

I looked online for data sets. Zillow’s maps seemed likely but didn’t correspond to reality when I showed Jerry. Great effort and coverage though! Cityscape Detroit’s map has too many holes. Did you hear how Flickr inferred boundaries by processing loads of geotagged photos?  Very cool project; still not quite right. I came across a Wired story on the competitive, litigious world of neighborhood mapmaking – who knew?

In the end we went to the Bureau of Urban Living for a cute typographic poster along the lines of Ork’s. Sigh. The next day we had lunch with friends at Data Driven Detroit and it sounds like they’re going to help us out, so stay tuned!