This Map of San Francisco Shows What Locals Really Think of Their City

San Francisco Skyline
San Francisco Skyline | © @markheybo / Flickr
Deanna Morgado

The website Hoodmaps allows users to add a little local perspective on their home city. City locals can input labels on any neighborhood, down to any individual block. Once that label is submitted, other Hoodmaps users can vote it up or down, dependent on accuracy.

And we’ve found San Francisco’s Hoodmaps.
These labels can be witty, stereotypical, hard truths, and maybe even a little offensive. For example, users tagged the Outer Richmond District and upper part of the Sunset with “Chinatown #2” and “Chinatown #3.” The label that users gave to Noe Valley, “Stroller Valley,” pokes fun at the fact that many families inhabit the district. On the other hand, the Bay Bridge was only given “traffic,” surely by some of the more transportation-bitter Hoodmaps users.

The site, whether intentional or not, also gives a good idea on which neighborhoods locals frequently visit. Some districts have plenty of labels scattered throughout, including the Mission, as it’s a popular area and known by many. Other areas don’t have many labels at all.

Another possible unintentional insight that Hoodmaps happens to provide is a more unfortunate, albeit, subjectively honest and discriminatory one. For instance, Castro bears one label reading “Naked Gay People,” while the Tenderloin has the harsh “homeless junkies.” Although blatantly prejudice, the whole point of Hoodmaps is to encourage honest opinions when it comes to the city’s areas—opinions, not necessarily facts.

The Hoodmaps creator, Pieter Levels, claims this kind of honest and incisive thinking is the whole point of Hoodmaps. With the site’s setup system, it’s supposed to allow users to get the quickest and most accurate simplified overview of a city. Users should be able to quickly find that San Francisco’s Potrero District is one of the hotter “Up and Coming” areas and that the greater SoMa area, “More hipsters,” is where the hip crowd often hangs out.

Regardless, Hoodmaps is the place to go and see what locals, such as those in San Francisco, feel about their home city. Fellow Hoodmaps visitors do change the labels frequently; if a neighborhood’s latest title isn’t one that’s well liked or agreeable, users can change it and vote for it to stay. At the moment, it’s easy to assume that San Francisco’s locals find the city to be an expensive, hipster town with a plethora of different cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles.

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