Finding Real Neighborhoods

eastvillage 1024x683 Finding Real Neighborhoods

The boundaries of a neighborhood can be a topic of hot contention. Look to a tourist guidebook, a real estate agent, and a local and you’ll get four about whether or not north of 14th Street still counts as “The Village” in NYC.  Livehoods, a project by the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University takes a social spin on answering these questions and uncovers some truly insightful data of neighborhood boundaries, relationships, activity levels, character, and more.


Livehoods offer a new way to conceptualize the dynamics, structure, and character of a city by analyzing the social media its residents generate. By looking at people’s checkin patterns at places across the city, we create a mapping of the different dynamic areas that comprise it. Each Livehood tells a different story of the people and places that shape it.

newjersey Finding Real Neighborhoods

One thing I found particular fascinating, though not wholly unexpected about the New York City map was the clustering of neighborhoods in New Jersey.  In NYC, with the relative proximity of… everything to everything, it’s not surprising to find that neighborhoods are small areas comprised of a tightly clustered businesses and homes.  In New Jersey, the “neighborhoods” span across a half dozen suburban towns in the same county.

Interested in experimenting with some Foursquare data yourself?  Check out our Foursquare Places API!


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  2. Alan Gavurin April 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Very interesting and creative way of defining localities and neighbourhoods. How much is it the decision of the individuals about how they define where they are and how much is it the social media products that do the defining?
    Any chance for a Livehoods take on London England?