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May 16, 2011 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Where The Streets Have Your Name: find streets, places, and things that have your name, as mapped by the folks at OpenStreetMap. While the view starts out in the US, it covers anything mapped with OSM, so pan around the world to find more results.

This is the newest project from artist and scientist Stephen Von Worley, who posts his data visualization research at Datapointed, which has been seen previously on MetaFilter: The Death of Downtown Chicago and 20 More Maps Of U.S. Population Change, 2000-2010; the site was previously hosted at weathersealed.com, where he mapped out all the McDonald's in the United States (the weaterhsealed page is now on Datapointed).

OpenStreetMap was covered previously four times: back in 2005 when London and a few other cities had been mapped; then Mapping in Crises, as part of the effort to map the crisis in Haiti in 2010; and some updates to OSM, and most recently Mapping Kibera, a slum in the southwest of Nairobi.
posted by filthy light thief (30 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
There is a street that bears my first name not even that far from where I live. I keep thinking I should snag myself one of the street signs sometime. But then I realize, I'm approaching my mid-40s -- do I really want to do that kind of sophomoric action just to have something to hang on my wall? And then I think, hells yes, I need to do that someday.
posted by hippybear at 1:13 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


There is no street with my name.
posted by rtha at 1:14 PM on May 16, 2011


Idiotville
posted by ardgedee at 1:20 PM on May 16, 2011


How do they decide that it is considered a "first name"? Does it work well for persons with non-American-traditional names? For instance, my brother's name is "Parr" and there is a Parr Street in Madison, WI, but it does not come up in this site.
posted by jillithd at 1:24 PM on May 16, 2011


No streets with my name. Ha! I feel special.
posted by storybored at 1:25 PM on May 16, 2011


do I really want to do that kind of sophomoric action just to have something to hang on my wall?

dude, you can order one -- they're like $20.
posted by dhartung at 1:29 PM on May 16, 2011


What an odd thing. It's not a full index: no results for "Water" for instance. So they must have used just a database of names. Also it's an OpenStreetMap database of street names (and place names), but they're displaying it on Google Maps instead of OpenStreetMap. Strange.
posted by Nelson at 1:37 PM on May 16, 2011


jillithd: How do they decide that it is considered a "first name"? Does it work well for persons with non-American-traditional names?

The names are indexed, as mentioned in the error message if you get no results. For example, Mark gets a lot of hits around the world, yet Main turns up a window that says:
No places matched that name, or we didn't index it.

Sorry!
Not sure why indexing was necessary, beyond making the mapping process quicker and more instantly enjoyable (or an instant let-down).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:39 PM on May 16, 2011


And if you try to force it by filling in your own word at the end of the URL (http://www.datapointed.net/extra/maps/names/first/[name]/), such as this attempt with "main", you'll get a 404 Not Found page.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:41 PM on May 16, 2011


For "Thomas" the push pins are pretty much solid east of the Mississippi, sparse in the flyover states and dense again in California. In other words, it's a common street name where there are streets.
posted by tommasz at 1:55 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Showing a street with your first name, not so much, but finding all the intersections of your first name and your SO's first name, that would be cool. Keep pushing, Stephen Von Worley, you're almost there.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:57 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


No places matched that name, or we didn't index it.

Sorry!


So, I would like to change my screen name to Main. OK?
posted by Cranberry at 2:02 PM on May 16, 2011


About a decade ago, near a small town to the east of Sault Ste.-Marie, Ontario, I spotted a road off the highway with my surname on it; indeed, with the unusual spelling of my not-especially common surname. I mentioned it to my father the next time I talked to him, and he said, "Oh, near [Smalltown]? Yeah, that was your great-great-grandfather's farm."

I went back a year or two later to see if I could find any trace of the farm, but turns out if you leave a farm alone for a century, it turns back into woodlands pretty efficiently.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:17 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


For "Thomas" the push pins are pretty much solid east of the Mississippi, sparse in the flyover states and dense again in California. In other words, it's a common street name where there are streets.

Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Dallas, Austin, and a bunch of other places would like you to know that they actually not only have streets, but they're paved, and they even have electricity served 24 hours a day.
posted by hippybear at 2:30 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


dhartung: I've known about that kind of service for ages now.

And that's completely missing the point, isn't it?
posted by hippybear at 2:31 PM on May 16, 2011


My irl first name is Grace. There is a Grace Street in Georgetown the Cayman Islands. Anyone else represented on a tiny dot in the ocean?
posted by Cranberry at 2:34 PM on May 16, 2011


I found the street. Now I need an adventurous soul with climbing skills and a vice-grip pliers.
posted by Splunge at 2:39 PM on May 16, 2011


My kids totally loved this! Thanks for the link.

We lived for eight years on a street that bears my (not particularly common) first name, back in Seattle. Shortly before we moved to the east coast, the city was refreshing the street markers throughout the city and selling the old ones. Our housemate bought me one of the old street signs for the street with my name and it hangs proudly in the entryway of our new house out here in Massachusetts. I lived in Seattle for almost 20 years and two years on I'm still a little homesick for it, so that street sign is one of my very favorite things in the whole house.
posted by Sublimity at 4:27 PM on May 16, 2011


funny you should mention that, Sublimity - I only found out about the existence of "Mars Ave. S." after the city put up all the new signs. I have never lived anywhere near there but it's on the way to a friend's house. It might be fun to have bought the old sign, but I'm not sure there ever was one.
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:38 PM on May 16, 2011


HOLY CRAP. Nothing, but nothing ever has my name. Except it does! There are Sabrina streets all over the US, and several in the UK and even a couple in France! Very few things amaze me at 40. Thanks for that!
posted by DarlingBri at 4:59 PM on May 16, 2011


They don't have Keirstead or Kierstead yet. I know there is a Keirstead Mountain Loop in New Brunswick Canada and it loops around Kirestead Mountain. Theres always a lot of discussion about the KEI and KIE spelling of our last name. In fact there are a few gravestones up there with the last name spelled K RSTEAD with the actually "EI" or "IE" cut out of it, it's just a hole now. Fun fact, my parents always knew I would be a horrible at spelling so they named me KEIth KEIrstead, so I would have an easy time spelling my name.
posted by lilkeith07 at 5:05 PM on May 16, 2011


Gee, what a shocker, there are twelve gajillion things with my name.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:02 PM on May 16, 2011


I know where to find a street that has my name, I live on it.

Well, sorta. Different spelling, same pronunciation. People alternately giggle or ask "really?" whenever I recite my address.

I keep telling myself it could have been worse: when we were house-shopping one of the first homes we liked was on a street that is the same as my intensely disliked and thus rarely used middle name. I nixed that house based just on that random coincidence, saying there was no way I wanted to be reminded of my middle name every time I came home. Then we found our current house, put in the offer and it wasn't until we were signing the papers that I realized the pronunciation was the same. Well, I didn't exactly come to that realization on my own, the escrow officer pointed it out. While giggling.
posted by jamaro at 10:20 PM on May 16, 2011


Holy crap!!! My spelling of my first name is relatively rare, but there are actually places with it! ommggg
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 11:32 PM on May 16, 2011


Anyone else represented on a tiny dot in the ocean?

I've got a push pin on Archipelago of San Andrés, Colombia.
posted by Harpocrates at 1:45 AM on May 17, 2011


About a decade ago, near a small town to the east of Sault Ste.-Marie, Ontario, I spotted a road off the highway with my surname on it; indeed, with the unusual spelling of my not-especially common surname. I mentioned it to my father the next time I talked to him, and he said, "Oh, near [Smalltown]? Yeah, that was your great-great-grandfather's farm."

The next town over from where I grew up has two roads joining each other called St John's Road and Smithfield Road. Where these two join the main street there is a small bus depot cut into the building line of otherwise early 1900s houses. I knew my great-grandfather John Smith had a farm and ran a transport company in that town a hundred years ago, but it took a while to figure out exactly where it was...
posted by Jehan at 7:18 AM on May 17, 2011


I'M SO LONELY
posted by Jairus at 8:59 AM on May 17, 2011


Where The Streets Have Your Name

Oh sure, when I get there it says first name!

I was just really curious whether there was a street named "Bob Malooga" somewhere.
posted by Twang at 10:02 AM on May 17, 2011


Well, that's accurate. First result for last name goes straight to the ancestral (and still occupied) farm in Norway. I guess if your family stays on the same plot of land for 400+ years... they name your driveway after you.
posted by RedEmma at 10:06 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I looked up my first name and saw that there were a million and one streets with it. Then I saw that there was one in a suburb of Tulsa. Then, looking closer, I saw that it was in a subdivision I had mapped. At the time, Google didn't have names for the streets, although one of their intrepid employees had taken the time to trace it from aerial imagery.

I see now that they have names for the streets in that subdivision. I'd be concerned that they were copying from OSM without attribution, but clearly one of their street view vehicles has been through the area.

Also, I clearly spend too much time mapping new subdivisions if I don't remember one I did maybe six months ago without looking at it for a good long while.
posted by wierdo at 7:10 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


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