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wolverine

I Need Your help Grand Rapids Forumers

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Hey everyone. First off, although I don't post much in this forum, I have always been impressed with your city, and have recently visited GR more and more to visit college friends this summer. So I hope to learn a lot more about your city.

Anyway, I'm working on a website called UrbanMichigan. The concept was started a little over a year ago that a website should be created that would show people Michigan's cities through photos and descriptions. The goal of the site was to make everyone's experience as interactive and enjoyable as possible while providing the most extensive photo sets of Michigan cities on the internet, all in one place. Since the idea for this site came out, I've traveled to all Michigan cities with populations over 25K to take photos and learn more history about these places. The site became even more advanced when it was decided that a "Buildings" portion be added to the site, kind of what you see over at emporis. However, on some of the most interesting ones, we decided to give full tours. For example, on our website, you will be able to tour all of Ford Field from the basement to the top floor. To compete with urban explorations sites, we've been photographing the exteriors and interiors of abandoned buildings so you don't have to. There's even a section that deals with infrastructure such as bridges and waterways. To make the site more diverse, there will be areas that cover city life, such as sports, music, and culture, but to a minimal extent, just so people have a general understanding who are not familiar with michigan. Much of the progress on the site is taking place offline. A lot of it is done in Flash, and I'm finishing up some 3D models of Michigan cities that wil add to the experience of the site.

So you are probably wondering why I need your help. First off, in the future I will need some info, such as some basic history info (not much) and the names of certain buildngs and neighborhoods and other places of interest.

To start off, I will need the names of neighborhoods that you feel are photoworthy. Like I said, I'm not completely familiar with Grand Rapids, so if any of you could provide the best way to seperate Grand Rapids into photosets of neighborhoods let me know. The number of neighborhoods, including the downtown should really not exceed 15 due to the site design.

When the site moves further along, I invite any of you at urbanplanet to help out with the site. Whether you want some of your photos on the site, or want to write up some info on your city, that would be great. You will receive full credits for any work you do

But first I need the basics to get the site going through the major construction phases.

Thanks All!

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To start off, I will need the names of neighborhoods that you feel are photoworthy.  Like I said, I'm not completely familiar with Grand Rapids, so if any of you could provide the best way to seperate Grand Rapids into photosets of neighborhoods let me know.  The number of neighborhoods, including the downtown should really not exceed 15 due to the site design.

Thanks All!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The City Mapper might be useful here. You'll need to whittle it down, but checking "city neighborhood," or "neighborhood associations" (easier to read) will give you a good start. Start downtown and work your way out. Downtown and Heartside have the commercial buildings, Heritage Hill east to Easttown has a lot of the cool old houses, Reeds Lake was once the "Coney Island" of Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids is where the Other Half lives (but is technically a different city I guess)... The GR natives can probably better help with these details. I'm a recent arrival.

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I've already started a pretty comprehensive photo collection for Grand Rapids. My goal, if you havent already noticed is to have every building in Downtown categorized and photographed.... Its crazy, I have to hand pick through 10,000 digital photographs that I have taken over the years, insane...

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A worthy venture, Wolverine. Someone mentioned the Westside -- an obvious choice. Also, obviously, Eastown and Creston (north of Leonard, south of Knapp along Plainfield).

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The link below gives concise overviews of every existing neighborhood in GR. In the past I've found it to be a helpful starting point for my own research.

http://www.cridata.org/profiles/neighborhood/

Note the tiny-little Auburn Hills neighborhood just east of Fuller Avenue. It has quite an interesting history.

-Woz

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Wolverine:

GOOD CONCEPT! :thumbsup: The first thing I would suggest to truly do METRO Grand Rapids justice is to show it as it really is - the state's second largest metropolitan area of 1.3 million people that forms into a geographic triangle between the points of Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland (with connected areas just outside the metro triangle like Lowell and Saugatuck).

After addressing that truth, then start from Metropolitan Center (Division Avenue and Fulton Street) and break the entire metro area into NE, NW, SE and SW quadrants like the City (GR) already is. After that lay three circles over that quadrant grid: 1) the inner circle or bullseye would be four sections of "The City"; 2) the second ring would be four sections of the "Inner Suburbs"; 3) the third ring would be four sections of the "Outer Suburbs" or "Exurbs/Edge Cities" (the four "sections" in each ring of course represent the NE, NW, SE & SW sections of each ring).

From that point, we can all just dump data and photos to you and label then for each ring and ring section.

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Thanks for all the info guys. This will help me know where to get started. Grand Rapids, is almost a two hour drive for me from Saginaw, so when I get there, I need to know what to take pictures of. I've got nearly all of the downtown on three trips, one of them being a week ago on Saturday. So basically, I don't want to leave anything out or else I'll have to make another trip. But it is definitely worth it. The fact that my hometown of Saginaw has so many problems, it's nice to visit a succesful city.

Don't worry about any parts of GR getting forgotten, that's why I wanted to check with you guys. My goal is for the website to have thorough coverage of the cities and their metros that carry on urban characteristics.

As far as the website generating income, I'm not sure yet. It actually won't cost me anything as I'll be running of my university's servers and unlimited space and bandwidth are free. If the site gets good enough, we may ask for sponsers. So far, it's too early to tell.

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Thanks for all the info guys.  This will help me know where to get started.  Grand Rapids, is almost a two hour drive for me from Saginaw, so when I get there, I need to know what to take pictures of. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, my wife grew up in Saginaw and we live in GR, and her Sister and Husband did too and live here now, and so did her Doctor who lives in GR now. You may as well look for a place to live while you're here ;)

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Haha, don't be suprised if I do. It's one of the places on my list where I want to get a job after college. Maybe even an internship next year.

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