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#1
darrinclement

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Maponics, LLC announced today the full release of Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries™. Until now, websites offering local search, including social marketing, real estate and Web 2.0 sites, have had to provide search results based upon ZIP Code or city name. By integrating Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries, search results for hundreds of cities can now be filtered and even mapped by universally accepted city neighborhood boundaries. The result - more relevant local search results, more loyal site visitors and higher ad revenue.

Norwich, VT (PRWEB) July 11, 2007 -- Maponics, LLC - a mapping provider to 20% of the Fortune 500™ - announced today the full release of Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries™, a neighborhood map polygon database with the potential to significantly improve the way businesses offer local search. Now companies in local search, social marketing, real estate, and related Web 2.0 industries will be able to offer search filtering and mapping based upon the most user-friendly city geography unit - the neighborhood.

Socially and culturally, people think of city geography in terms of neighborhoods. Until now, the lack of affordable and accurate neighborhood map data has forced sites offering local search to filter searches by city name or ZIP Code™. For major cities, this has meant poorly targeted results spanning too broad or granular a geographic area. The result has been unsatisfied users and lost ad revenue. By offering the opportunity to search by neighborhood, websites will now be able to provide more intuitive, relevant results.

Covering hundreds of the top US cities, the Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries database includes all latitude and longitude coordinates for each neighborhood polygon. It is specifically designed for easy integration into Google™, Yahoo!®, or Microsoft® map mash-ups or into back-end data analysis applications. Unique features include:

* Hand-drawn neighborhood map polygons, not aggregations of ZIP Codes or Census Tracts
* Neighborhood boundaries validated by over 1000 real estate agents
* Continuous city neighborhood data maintenance
* Ongoing addition of new cities
* Delivery in shapefile, ASCII, or other formats for easy integration
* Many auxiliary tables relating neighborhood maps data to ZIP Codes, school districts, and more


A real estate site with Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries integrated - and properties tagged with neighborhood names - lets users filter results to see only those in the neighborhoods they care about. Combine this with neighborhood analytics for the "best" neighborhoods and a powerful value magnet has been created, one that draws users to the site again and again.

In the mobile world, imagine that a couple walking through SoHo in New York City gets a sudden craving for Indian food. With a mobile service backed by Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries, a search for restaurants in SoHo provides all the nearest SoHo options in an instant.

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries offers several advantages over alternatives, including:

* Flexible licensing terms, to accommodate a wide variety of neighborhood map data applications
* Neighborhood boundaries that are based upon in-the-field analysis - not a statistical representation
* Commitment to excellence - Maponics is a full-service mapping company with a focus on providing high quality mapping and data


The result is far more accurate and much less work than compiling your own city neighborhood data in-house.
For more information about Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries, contact Maponics at 800-762-5158 or visit maponics.com.

Maponics, LLC
America's largest corporations entrust Maponics with their mapping and data needs - including 20% of the Fortune 500. Maponics is located in Norwich, Vermont, with customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Contact:

Darrin Clement
Maponics
800-762-5158
maponics.com

#2
benbakelaar

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Cool! I was just thinking this morning about how to achieve this in a spatially-enabled database search. Obviously it's pretty complicated, and your company deserves to profit off of the R&D put into this problem... but I hope eventually there is an open-source solution. By that time, I'm sure your product would have enough value-added features to put it on a different level than the simplified open-source solution.

#3
Dennis McClendon

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As someone who knows a little about the geography of Chicago neighborhood names, I have to laugh at the concept of neighborhood boundaries "validated by real estate agents."
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
Hans van der Maarel

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As someone who knows a little about the geography of Chicago neighborhood names, I have to laugh at the concept of neighborhood boundaries "validated by real estate agents."


Wait... real estate agents get to set neighborhood boundaries? Blimey! :blink:
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#5
darrinclement

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Hi all - thanks for the feedback!

#6
CHART

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In Canada the smallest socio demographic area available with associated data (e.g. number of people per age, spending on pet food etc...) is called Dissemination Areas (DA). http://www.census200...dict/geo021.htm

Do you have associated data to provide with these new geo-units? From my point of view, the key is to have associated socio.-demographic data available with these units. Maybe I just don't understand correctly the purpose...
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#7
darrinclement

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Do you have associated data to provide with these new geo-units? From my point of view, the key is to have associated socio.-demographic data available with these units. Maybe I just don't understand correctly the purpose...


Certainly assigning socio-demographics can be added by using various geographic associations with census-level data (US or Canada). But that's a separate product. The real purpose here is that the neighborhood boundaries - not ZIP Codes, not Census boundaries - are now available so that people can do exactly what you are suggesting. Without the boundaries, you are left with census or postal boundaries, neither of which actually represent neighborhoods like the local people think of them.

#8
CHART

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Darrin,

Thanks for the reply.

I am sure that the work associated with creating neighborhood geographic units represents a LOT of work. Best of luck with the product.
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#9
maponics

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(PRWEB) August 1, 2007 -- Maponics, LLC - a mapping provider to the Fortune 500™ - today announced GIS licensing of Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries, a neighborhood map polygon database that is helping businesses and their customers meet the growing demand for better local targeting and mapping. For the first time GIS firms, mapping companies, and other businesses performing geographic analytics can incorporate accurate neighborhood boundaries with quarterly updates into their own maps and services at a reasonable cost.

Socially and culturally, people think of city geography in terms of neighborhoods. Overlaying ZIP Codes™ has historically provided marketing punch to analysis, but business clients are increasingly looking to visualize markets by neighborhood.

Covering hundreds of the top US cities, the Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries database includes all latitude and longitude coordinates for each neighborhood polygon. Available in ArcView® shapefile and MapInfo® TAB formats, this polygon layer is ready out-of-the-box for mapping or back-end data analysis. Unique features include:
  • hand-drawn polygons, not aggregations of ZIP Codes or Census Tracts
  • boundary validation by over 1000 real estate agents
  • continuous data maintenance and ongoing addition of new cities
  • many auxiliary tables, relating neighborhoods to ZIP Codes, Tracts, school districts, and more
"For years, we were asked about showing neighborhoods in our maps, but no such database existed," says Steve Zuckerman, Director of Mapping Operations at Maponics. "Maponics' experience in cartography and spatial data - particularly for marketing applications - was invaluable as we put together this product line."

Flexible licensing terms are designed to make this a fit for a wide range of firms involved in geographic analysis and mapping. Flat fee or royalty-based licensing is available. For more information, contact Maponics at 800-762-5158 or visit www.maponics.com.

Maponics, LLC
America's largest corporations entrust Maponics with their mapping and data needs - including 20% of the Fortune 500. Maponics is located in Norwich, Vermont, with customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Maponics®
The Polygon Company™


Contact:
Darrin Clement
Maponics
800-762-5158
www.maponics.com

#10
Unit Seven

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Merged this post into the previous post.
S a m B r o w n

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#11
MapMedia

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Maponics, I have a few questions re: neighborhood boundaries dataset, if I may.

1- How contiguous or patchy is the dataset? I think of neighborhoods being defined only in large metro areas. (Does the subdivision 'Glenns Hollow' rate as a neighborhood?)
2- What is your update scheme for the dataset? 5-digit Zip code boundaries are updated quarterly, I believe.
3- Any examples of how your dataset is being used?

Thanks!

#12
natcase

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Maponics, I have a few questions re: neighborhood boundaries dataset, if I may.

1- How contiguous or patchy is the dataset? I think of neighborhoods being defined only in large metro areas. (Does the subdivision 'Glenns Hollow' rate as a neighborhood?)
2- What is your update scheme for the dataset? 5-digit Zip code boundaries are updated quarterly, I believe.
3- Any examples of how your dataset is being used?

Thanks!



A couple further questions. No, i take that back. One big question:

U.S. cities often define neighborhoods officially, and in newer cities subdivisions may make the most sense to understand outlying areas (I've been recently revising our map of Omaha, where the subdivision is king). BUT, there are often more common local nicknames which do not have definite boundaries (whatever real estate agents may say), and which may in fact overlap official or other unofficial boundaries.

For a local example to me, Uptown is a very well known area in Minneapolis, and is the common name for a region centered around W Lake St and Hennepin Ave S. It has a business association, street banners, and no official boundary. That intersection is also the meeting point of four well-established official neighborhoods: CARAG, ECCO, Lowry Hill East and East Isles (all of them part of the Calhoun-Isles Community, "communities" being the official groupings of official neighborhoods). Lyn-Lake, centered on the intersection of Lyndale Ave S and W Lake St has also had a strong identity for some time. In the last few years, the two areas have been effectively merging into one; I predict in ten years they will effectively be one commercial district.

The idea of correcting neighborhood boundaries using local knowledge is a good one, as official definitions often make sense in one part of a city, and seem arbitrary in others (I live on a half-block which backs up to a cemetery, and it is 1/2 mile to the next members of our neighborhood. We really ought to be attached to the neighborhood across the street from us, but through the vagaries of city planning, we're not).

Like Dennis, I question making it up to the real estate market. Perhaps a later edition of this data set could include some sort of popular sampling, wikifying or other such? What it comes down to is that many well-known neighborhoods have blurry boundaries (something real estate folks take advanatage of), and to be honest, that blur will be nearly impossible to resolve in GiS terms, unless you simply stick with centroid points and leave polygonal boundaries up to the imagination...

So perhaps what would be ideal is a two-track system, with official city subdivisions in one track (good for real data-crunching), and a "softer" set of data for unofficial but widely-known neighborhoods.

My 2¢ for the day...

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
maphead.blogspot.com



#13
darrinclement

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Hi everyone - all good questions. I'll take a stab at answering them and if anyone wants to talk offline, try me at 802-649-8500.

- the data covers hundreds of cities, and so certainly there are places where neighborhoods are either not relevant or we haven't gotten to yet
- we are releasing the data quarterly to reflect user feedback and to add new cities
- check out Trulia.com for an example of the data in action (note that they are using an older version of the data and many improvements and additional cities have been added); try a big city, then on the left pane choose a neighborhood, then zoom in

- the idea of "fuzziness and overlapping" neighborhoods is a very interesting one; there is no single "right" way to deal with this but I agree there really are overlapping neighborhoods and neighborhoods-within-neighborhoods (I say "really" to the extent that neighborhoods are perceptions and there are really cases where there is nearly consensus on the fact that a specific place is within two neighborhoods at the same time)
- algorithmically, it is straight forward to buffer all neighborhoods by some extent to take care of fuzzy matches but we have decided that embedding the buffers into the data is a bad idea because it forces it on some customers who don't want it
- subdivisions are a different beast, mostly because they actually do have an official status (not so subject to perception)

In terms of using real estate professionals to validate the data - that is far from the only validation source. For example, many of our customers run social networking sites or other "web 2.0" sites and most are required to provide us with user feedback so we can continually enhance our data based on local residents' perceptions. Hope this helps!




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