Friday, October 12, 2012

Mapping Ann Arbor's neighborhoods

Where the hood, where the hood, where the hood at? -Earl "DMX" Simmons, Where the Hood At?
As you may know I have had a casual interest in naming Ann Arbor's neighborhoods and microhoods. I'm pleased to let you know that I have now taken the next step and begun mapping Ann Arbor's various 'hoods with Google Map Maker. This move was inspired by the better support for integrated maps on the new ArborWiki.
Gentle readers, I need your help with this. There are some neighborhoods and microhoods in desperate need of names. Also, apparently my neighborhood names need to be approved by other Mapmakers and so far, Rob T., has found insufficient evidence for my newly created "Arborview Neighborhood."
What do you think makes a good neighborhood name? It seems like good neighborhoods are named after a prominent physical feature--a park, a road, a building--or convey some of the history of the place. I think these two areas are in desperate need of neighborhood names and would welcome any suggestions:
The neighborhood bounded by Miller, Newport, Brooks and Sunset.
The neighborhood east of Kerrytown and west of the Medical Campus.
Please feel free to nominate more neighborhoods to be named in the comments.


  1. How about the Old West Side. Always unclear about where it starts and ends.

  2. I live in the between-Kerrytown and medical campus bit. We're covered by the Old Fourth Ward association, but that name seems to have failed to catch on with the student population, who's more likely to just call it Kerrytown or, less popularly, North State.

  3. I'm working right now on forming a neighborhood association for the area you describe bounded by Miller, Newport, Sunset and Brooks. I'm calling it "Sunset Hilltop".

  4. I used to live in an already named hood....Arrowwood. Perhaps the area across the street from Awood needs a related name?

  5. I live on Depot Street and we are either called Kerrytown or Near North. I prefer the former, personally.

  6. If a neighborhood has a neighborhood association, the city has a map for the boundaries that the association provided. Here's a citywide map:

    Like most city maps this is horribly confusing, but what you need to know is two things. A parcel can be in more than one neighborhood (as defined by the city), or it can be in none at all. Not all named neighborhoods by common use have associations (cf. Burns Park on this map). And the functional purpose of these is to get notified of developments and projects in your neighborhood via the city planning department.

    According to this map, this neighborhood is "Upper Water Hill."