[Geowanking] neighborhood database?
ian at urbanmapping.com
Sun Sep 16 13:08:58 PDT 2007
I'm not trying to be commercially-oriented here, just helpful...
UMI saw this problem and built a database of informal space (which includes
neighborhoods). We have 20k+ in the US and also other parts of the world...
'Wankers might be interested to look at our services demo:
ws.urbanmapping.com (thank you very much Andrew Turner!). Yes, it's a
Census tried to create a framework to allow municpalities to define block
groups around neighborhoods, but it didn't gain much traction and died. Part
of the problem is that neighborhoods are (generally) not administratively
defined. The boundaries of "Midtown, NYC?" Your guess is (almost) as good as
mine--we've licensed it to all portals, so our definition is more broadly
Because they are informally-defined, traditional notions of boundaries do
not apply. Does SoHo have to be adjacent to NoHo? Why can't they overlap?
That's how people think about space, so it follows that you can be in
multiple 'hoods at the same time. It gets messy to create a uniform
definition around something that isn't fact-based, so I don't think it's
well-suited to an open project (or should I say crowdsourcing??).
The question also touches on a hot-button issue of mine-- the city of
Seattle selling spatial data--they've collected it at taxpayer expense, so
cost recovery is the most they should be charging, but that's not the case
some of the time. It's even worse with parcel data. The security/public
safety argument usually inserts itself here, but as many state courts have
ruled, it's hollow as a rotted birch tree.
As an aside, the Seattle data Raj mentions might seem 'official,' but it
doesn't really matter--what people perceive as being valuable does.
On 9/16/07, Raj Singh <raj at rajsingh.org> wrote:
> Looks like for Seattle you can get neighborhoods from the library:
> or the city for $125:
> In my 10+ years in the urban planning field, I've never come across a
> national database of neighborhoods. Yes, in some towns neighborhoods
> coincide with wards or census boundaries, but not always.
> I'd be very interested in helping out in an effort to develop an open
> neighborhood database repository if I had some help.
> On Sep 15, 2007, at 3:21 PM, Anselm Hook wrote:
> > Is there a free database of American neighborhood names and polygonal
> > boundaries.
> > To elaborate:
> > For example San Francisco has neighborhoods like 'SOMA' or 'chinatown'
> > or 'mission'.
> > My current need is a neighborhood database for Seattle, of which one
> > appears here:
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_neighborhoods
> > It seems like there may be data behind this - I am about to check if
> > this is just from some publically available census data like census
> > 2000.
> > Also,
> > http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~public/nmaps/fullcit2.htm
> > And
> > http://transit.metrokc.gov/tops/bus/neighborhoods/region_text.html
> > But generally speaking is there something comprehensive for the entire
> > United States?
> > - a
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Ian White :: Urban Mapping, Inc.
690 Fifth Street Suite 200 :: San Francisco CA 94107
T.415.946.8170 :: F.866.385.8266 :: urbanmapping.com
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