Won't You Be My Neighborhood?
And I wasn't surprised to see that it got many of them wrong. Some of these errors are the sort of exaggerations you might see in a too-optimistic real-estate ad; for example, Yahoo stretches Capitol Hill all the way to the Anacostia, then extends Logan Circle east to New Jersey Avenue NW.
But others suggest that Yahoo's cartographers need to get out of Sunnyvale more often--they've wiped Adams-Morgan off the map entirely to lump it under Kalorama Heights. The same fate has befallen neighborhoods across the District, such as Palisades (merged into Spring Valley), Burleith (annexed by Georgetown), Petworth (now part of Columbia Heights) and Kingman Park (engulfed by an inexplicably large "Union Station" neighborhood). East of the Anacostia, Hillcrest simply vanishes after you zoom in.
(For a more accurate picture of the District's neighborhoods, see Wikipedia's map.)
Further glitches surface across the Potomac, where Yahoo renames Arlington's Nauck neighborhood "Green Valley" and labels Alexandria's Del Ray "Potomac West."
I wondered how long it would take D.C.-area bloggers to start making fun of these errors. Between the opportunity to poke fun at a large, faraway corporation's lack of street cred and the chance to indulge in a favorite hobby of many city bloggers--talking smack about other people's 'hoods--I figured this was a natural topic for the local blogosphere.
I didn't have to wait long: bloomingdale (for now) jumped on it last week, noting how that North
eastwest neighborhood, along with several adjacent areas, had been lumped into a single region labeled "Edgewood." Commenters noted other inaccuracies, as did the chatters on a DCist post pointing to this entry.
True, Yahoo's updates go beyond providing neighborhood-centric blog fodder. Its maps now also feature the locations of transit stops (though that's something Google and Microsoft had on their mapping sites over a year ago). Zooming out will reveal new topographic shading for mountains and valleys. And these maps look a little cleaner overall. But I wouldn't rely too heavily on them when picking out a new apartment or house.
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