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Does a Company Define Your Neighbourhood?


Neighbourhoods are very important to family historians. Neighbourhoods are characterized by the social interaction of people who live near each other and, thus, they can help define the lifestyle of our ancestors. Neighbourhoods also play an important role in interpreting census results.

As reported in Wired Magazine, being able to accurately define a neighbourhood is big business for everything from real estate to social networking sites. However, a US-based company is now suing the mathematician who pioneered many of the urban mapmaking techniques that are now used to define neighbourhoods. The US-based company is claiming they own the rights to map (and therefore define) a neighbourhood. If successful, the lawsuit could potentially disrupt a family historian’s ability to trace the lifestyle of their ancestors.

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