Las Vegas: The Challenge of Mapping Neighborhoods in Sin City
"Unlike census blocks, households, and population, there's no national dataset for neighborhood boundaries. There aren't even datasets at the state level, and very rarely at the county or city level. It's one of the strongest community units, and yet data is incredibly sparse.
"This means that we had to create a neighborhood boundary dataset from scratch. Each city we mapped came with its own quirks and rules, all of which were important to respect -- part of what makes a neighborhood a neighborhood is its history and character, and while confining that with a line on a map seems a little restricting, that was all the more reason to get the job done right." Erica Fagin
Erica was born in New Hampshire and grew up in Colorado. In 2008, she moved to Illinois, where she attended University of Chicago. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities/Cartography and a minor in Norwegian (the joke being that just one unemployable degree wasn’t enough).
After college, Erica stayed in Chicago, spending her summer cataloging road atlases at the Newberry Library’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography. In 2013, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and began working as a Boundary Specialist at Nextdoor.com, the private social network for neighborhoods. As Nextdoor’s Cartography Manager, Erica oversees all mapping work at the company. Outside of her mapping life, Erica teaches dance, cheers for the Golden State Warriors, and designs coats of arms. She lives in Oakland, California.