Thursday, July 30, 2015
Oakland Neighborhoods Map, V2.1
Speaking of a long time since posting things, it's been more than 5 years since I first posted my Oakland Neighborhoods Map. Since then numerous Oakland blogs have come and gone, the amount of time I've been able to spend on the blog has waxed and waned, but over the years, there's been one constant: my all-time most popular posts are related to maps of Oakland (you can click on the 'maps' button below the site banner to see more). And the most popular of those, by an order of magnitude, has been the neighborhoods map. At some point Google updated custom maps and broke the original. I upgraded it to the new format, added some new content, and took advantage of some of the new features of the new custom maps engine.
So without further ado, I present the Oakland Neighborhoods Map, V2.1. As with the previous version, the basic map is based on the Street Trees. With lots of time spent poring over other maps, historical documents, and vague descriptions, I added some of the informal neighborhood names like Dogtown. If your browser supports it, there should be interactive version of the map below:
But all that said, the map is far from perfect. A lot of the 'street trees' names aren't used, and with any of the names that are used, people disagree about the exact boundaries. Myself, I disagree about the concept of exact boundaries for neighborhoods, because unless there's a physical barrier like a freeway, most boundaries aren't exact, and people's perceptions are different. Exercises best left to the user include: Where is DTO? Where is East Oakland? Is Uptown a real neighborhood?
The new version adds pictures of signs of some of the areas showing what they label themselves, refines the details of some of the boundaries, and even adds some historical neighborhoods that most people have no idea existed. Finally, I added a feature for myself, but some of you may find it useful, too. Go to the relatively easy to remember URL http://nmap.ouroakland.net, and it will redirect you to the Google Map page.
Unfortunately, the new Google Maps engine lost (or hid) some useful features, like the ability to load other custom maps on top this one, search for an address or otherwise use a custom map like a regular Google map, and probably some other things. Sigh.