As the geosocial revolution continues - creating more and more intimate links between the digital space and our physical spaces via mobile devices and data driven services - the word 'neighborhood' is becoming more and more prominent. A neighborhood (in urban terms, larger than a block, smaller than a zipcode) is the perfect granularity to connect with users as we spend a good chunk of our time there.
'Near by' is often scoped by neighborhood, our schools define catchment areas at this level, supermarkets serve neighborhood sized portions of the population.
As we see the rise of geosocial gaming (things like Foursquare, Gowalla, MyTown), and the mechanisms they introduce being adopted by other spatially aware services (Yelp) we are also seeing the rise of the importance of real estate data. It is in no way surprising that Google is interested in the real estate market.
NabeWise, a new neighborhood review site, similar in some regards to both EveryBlock and Centerd. It's just opened its doors with coverage for New York and San Francisco, and its entry points are qualities of neighborhoods (trendy, singles, beautiful people, etc.). It is very interesting to note that the sign up process includes the question 'are you a real estate agent?'
Design-wise, many of these sites have to address the presentation of rich data in an understandable and consumable manner. In this regard, these resident oriented sites have similarities with real estats 2.0 sites (RedFin, Zillow, Trulia) and take advantage of the increased data literacy of a younger, web 2.0 savvy audience.
Key in all of this is the bedrock data set of neighborhoods. As the LA times demonstrated with their Mapping LA project, the definition of any neighborhood is somewhat subjective and borders need to be negotiated. For many cities, Wikipedia keeps rich pages describing neighborhoods and their histories.
From a UX point of view, we can expect to see more interfaces with elements like these, sampled from some of the companies above (NabeWise, Trulia, EveryBlock):