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Mapping Neighborhoodness

Andy Woodruff
October 20, 2015

Mapping Neighborhoodness

NACIS 2015 presentation about crowdsourced mapping of Boston neighborhoods

Andy Woodruff

October 20, 2015


 Andy Woodruff Axis Maps | @awoodruff Tim Wallace New

    York Times / University of Wisconsin | @wallacetim bostonography.com 
  2. Neighborhoods.

  3. Neighborhoods. What even are they?

  4. Architecture & physical character Landmarks Social interactions Spatial experiences

  5. Neighborhoods are both spatial and social constructions—and are almost always

    subjectively defined.
  6. Official lines must be drawn somewhere, in order to facilitate

    things like censuses, urban planning, municipal services, mail delivery, government representation, &c.
  7. Sometimes a line drawn for one purpose is used for

    another because it’s convenient. And all lines might differ from prevailing local perceptions.
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  9. Distinctive neighborhoods with strong identities and histories, but no definitive

    map. Boston
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  14. Dr. Azzie Young, president and CEO of the Mattapan Community

    Health Center, says that the issue over the proper boundary has “caused great furor” in the past. “The major issue with the expanded map is that it could seriously skew data for Mattapan,” says Dr. Young, particularly with regards to health issues and crime. Bill Walczak, president of Dorchester’s Carney Hospital, says that confusion caused by the shifting boundaries presented a quandary for him when he ran the Codman Square Health Center. It makes it more difficult for educators and health professionals to track trends over decades when the borders keep changing, says Walczak. http://www.dotnews.com/2011/case-flawed-map-work
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  16. Everyone has an opinion. Curious Bostonographers ask, What is the

    sum of those opinions?
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  19. bostonography.com/neighborhoods

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  22. Number of polygons for Neighborhood X intersecting grid cell Measuring

    consensus Total number of polygons for Neighborhood X ÷
  23. bostonography.com/2013/neighborhoods-as-seen-by-the-people/

  24. 1. Limited to the city of Boston. Lots of people

    in “Boston” don’t live in Boston. 2. Limited set of pre-determined neighborhoods. 3. No information about the people who drew on the map nor insight into why they drew what they did. 4. Not a representative sample. Cool, but…
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  26. maps.latimes.com/debates/eastside/

  27. btvhoods.geosprocket.org/

  28. peopleorganizingplace.com/draw/

  29. visualizations.dnainfo.com/nycneigh/

  30. zetashapes.com

  31. pnwmaps.com/neighborhoods

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  34. PNW Neighborhoods by Nick Martinelli Inspired by our project, but

    way better. So we, in turn, made a new version using his open-source project. pnwmaps.com/neighborhoods github.com/enam/neighborhoods
  35. bostonography.com/hoods

  36. Early feedback suggested shifting focus away from edges and toward

    points that are central or important to neighborhoods. Participants are now invited either to draw shapes or to place markers—or both! More than boundaries
  37. No restrictions on geography or names: it’s no longer Where

    is Neighborhood X? but rather What/where is your neighborhood? We collect more information: how long (if at all) people have lived in the neighborhoods they drew, and any stories they want to tell about a place. Broader scope
  38. Simply trace a shape with your mouse— or your finger.

    We hope that this, along with mobile- friendly styles, makes it easier to reach more participants. Easy to use
  39. JavaScript / Leaflet Modified versions of Leaflet.FreeDraw and Leaflet.Editable for

    drawing. CartoDB Shape data are posted to (and read from) two tables—one for polygons and one for points. Technology
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  43. 1,868 polygons 252 points bostonography.com/hoods/#view bostonography.cartodb.com/tables/hoods/public bostonography.cartodb.com/tables/hoods_point/public Results so far

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  50. Look at the length-of-residency data. Reach more people in underrepresented

    areas. Work with people who might be able to use this kind of data or tool! To do:
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  52. People are passionate. Participation has been surprising considering there’s no

  53. People still disagree. “Your map is wrong!” remains a common

    first reaction to our analyses and explorations.
  54. Guess what happens when you let people on the internet

    draw things.
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  58. Thanks! …and if you know Boston and contribute at http://bostonography.com/hoods

    Double thanks! bostonography.com • @bostonography • @awoodruff • @wallacetim