What is Factle Maps?

Factle Maps is a mapping company that specializes in the creation of location based geo-data, with it's main focus on neighborhood boundary identification. It all began with a dream to identify and map out every neighborhood in the world, and making what was once so elusive become something that can be found, identified, and quantified.

With a strong background and emphasis in academics, Factle Maps continually seeks to better understand what a neighborhood is, how and why it changes, the differences and similiarities of neighborhoods in varying cities, and the impact and possibilities that neighborhood data can produce in understanding reality and changing it. Improving mapping techniques and methodologies in identifying neighborhoods is also a big part of our equation as neighborhoods are social entities that continually change over time and because of the growing need for accurate location data.

Why Factle? What is a "Factle?"

The name Factle is a play on the math term "Fractal," defined below from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary:

Fractal - Pronunciation: \ˈfrak-təl\
Function: noun
Etymology: French fractale, from Latin fractus broken, uneven (past participle of frangere to break) + French -ale -al (noun suffix)
Date: 1975

: any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size

Bernt Wahl, the founder of Factle Maps, has a background in Fractal Geometry and therefore named his new mapping company "Factle," to the similar effect of how Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google based their company's name off the math term "googol."

It's also interesting to note that neighborhoods are smaller broken down units within a larger entity such as a city, with neighborhoods often times holding their own characteristics and can even be considered smaller cities within their respective city.

    History of Factle Maps and Neighborhood Mapping

  • 1994-February: Factle founder Bernt Wahl teams up with National Parks Service's Joe Coho & Craig Glassner (nps.gov); talks of a Nationwide Neighborhood Boundaries Map begins.
  • 2004-June: Factle begins collecting neighborhood information for production of neighborhood boundary mapping project
  • 2005-July: 15 U.C. Berkeley interns team up to produce first US Nationwide Neighborhood Boundaries Map.
  • 2007-May: Factle Maps is bearthed as a spin-off from Homegain to specialize in Neighborhood Boundary Mapping.
  • 2009-June: Factle Maps moves into its new and current office at the Brower Center in Berkeley, CA.
  • 2009-Nov: Factle Maps launches its new and improved website!

Factle Maps - Neighborhood Boundary Mapping from factle on Vimeo.