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Besides Zillow's creative-commons licensed neighborhood boundaries shapefiles, what sources of neighborhood boundaries are there? Not just in the US, but all over the world.

Free/open source is ideal, but paid sources could be interesting too.

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6 Answers 6

up vote 4 down vote accepted

SimpleGeo (before being acquired by Urban Airship) used to have a worldwide neighborhood boundaries layer. If you do some digging you may be able to troll up an old shapefile, or maybe a kind sole out there already has a copy that they would be willing to let you download.

Alternatively, WeoGeo still appears to have the SimpleGeo neighborhoods available. (Link1, Link2). (Disclaimer: I haven't tried this myself)

Lastly, I recently read an article about the Livehoods project - "Neighborhood Boundaries Generated using foursquare Social Media Data" that might prove to be a useful concept. It is...

the research effort by some keen Carnegie Mellon U mobile lab students (http://mcom.cs.cmu.edu/) analyzed 18 million Foursquare check-ins to spot algorithmic relationships between the spots people frequent. According to the work… “Livehoods looks at the geographic distance between venues, but also a form of `social distance’ that measures the degree of overlap in the people that check-in to them”.

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Wow, I'll definitely check out that SimpleGeo set! –  Avishai May 22 '12 at 15:34
January 12th, 2012: After SimpleGeo was acquired by Urban Airship in Oct 2011, Urban Aiship said “wind down the availability of the current versions of [SimpleGeo's] Places, Context, and Storage over the next few months.”...The target date for pulling the plug officially will be March 31, 2012. Link –  RyanDalton Feb 7 '13 at 18:38

Check out commercial data provider http://www.maponics.com for neighbourhood boundary data.

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Maponics has great data, but are pretty pricey. –  Avishai Jan 13 '14 at 15:13

I don't know what the state of mapping with this is, but OpenStreetMap has a place:neighbourhood tag (note the British spelling).

As the boundaries of neighborhoods are often nebulously defined I think no matter the source you will have to understand that using them for anything more than general display/labeling is going to be tricky.

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How about the Flickr Shapefiles which are constructed from the location tags people give geolocated pictures on the site.

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+1. here is another good article about the processing they did for this dataset: The Shape of Alpha –  RyanDalton May 21 '12 at 15:09

Maponics would love to supply you with the best neighborhood boundaries available. If nationwide drops of shape files are too large or beyond your budget, you can also use our API that enables you to download just what you need by attribute, geographic window or ID.

In addition, we also have "Context" data that is associated with our neighborhoods, carrier routes and other boundaries that can tell you all sorts of things about these polygons including things like Clarion Prizm demographic data!

And, if you have any questions or concerns you can always email me!

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