Friday, March 5, 2010

my Oakland map

Finishing off map week is the most accurate but least useful map: how I visualize Oakland. It's by definition 100% accurate because it's how I think of things, but it's not terribly useful outside of telling people how I think of our fair city.

View my Oakland map in a larger map
It's kind of like a single data point in the Mapping Oakland project. Not nearly as useful as a bunch of maps like this aggregated together.

Some good news is that I heard back from Robert, the researcher behind the Mapping Oakland project. Although the web page hasn't been updated, he's still working on things:
I am actually finishing up the analysis for Temescal and Fruitvale districts... I hope to have the maps up on the web page sometime by mid April. I'm presenting the results in April, so after I complete my presentation I will have a bit of time to start uploading the maps to the net.

Back to my map. You may be wondering why some large areas are a single district, while a few small neighborhoods get labeled. In no particular order:
  • Hiller Highlands - this is known (at least by name) to most residents of the Oakland hills, because it's where the 1991 Oakland firestorm started
  • Sobrante Park - this neighborhood at the far south end of Oakland is where I've been volunteering to help build houses with Habitat for Humanity East Bay for the last several years (and an older development 10+ years ago, too)
  • Village Bottoms - I first heard of Village Bottoms because of a workshop at West Coast Green last year
  • Ghosttown - I heard about Ghosttown because of Ghost Town Farm, Novella Carpenter's urban farm. It got a big jump in publicity when she published Farm City, a book about her experiences with urban farming.
The rest of my map is much more arbitrary, depending on how much time I've spent in different parts of Oakland and their proximity to different landmarks like Lake Merritt or the zoo.

All in all, not a particularly useful map. It'd be great to be able to compare other people's similar maps, though not very practical because of the difficulty in creating them.


Colburn said...

I love this! I think my favorite neighborhood name here is "Near the Y." :)

It would be very cool to compare every Oakland resident's personal maps of Oakland, then merge them somehow into one uber-map. How long did this take you, just out of curiousity?

Unknown said...

It took me a couple of hours. But I've spent a lot of time editing Google maps recently, so I've gotten past a lot of the learning curve.

It helped having the neighborhoods map to use as a reference layer.