Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

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The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

California Bay Area county map
SF Bay area USGS.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world with 8.80 million people.

The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500 companies in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, after the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties. (more...)

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HL7742, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen here on July 31, 2011, two years prior to the crash landing at San Francisco International Airport

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was a scheduled transpacific passenger flight from Incheon International Airport near Seoul, South Korea, to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in the United States. On the morning of July 6, 2013, the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft operating the flight crashed on final approach into SFO. Of the 307 people aboard, two passengers died at the crash scene (one from being run over by an airport crash tender), and a third died in a hospital several days later. 181 others were injured, 12 of them critically. Among the injured were three flight attendants who were thrown onto the runway while still strapped in their seats when the tail section broke off after striking the seawall short of the runway. It was the first crash of a Boeing 777 that resulted in fatalities since its entry to service in 1995. (more...)

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Douglas Engelbart in 2008.jpg
Douglas Carl Engelbart (January 30, 1925 – July 2, 2013) was an American engineer and inventor, and an early computer and Internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on the challenges of human–computer interaction, particularly while at his Augmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International, resulting in the invention of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to graphical user interfaces. These were demonstrated at The Mother of All Demos in 1968.

In the early 1950s, he decided that instead of "having a steady job" (such as his position at NASA's Ames Research Center) he would focus on making the world a better place, especially through the use of computers. Engelbart was therefore a committed, vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and computer networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems. Engelbart embedded a set of organizing principles in his lab, which he termed "bootstrapping strategy". He designed the strategy to accelerate the rate of innovation of his lab.

Under Engelbart's guidance, the Augmentation Research Center developed, with funding primarily from DARPA, the NLS to demonstrate numerous technologies, most of which are in modern widespread use; this included the computer mouse, bitmapped screens, hypertext; all of which were displayed at The Mother of All Demos in 1968. The lab was transferred from SRI to Tymshare in the late 1970s, which was acquired by McDonnell Douglas in 1984, and NLS was renamed Augment. At both Tymshare and McDonnell Douglas, Engelbart was limited by a lack of interest in his ideas and funding to pursue them, and retired in 1986. (more...)

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Old Courthouse Square, Downtown Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, California United States. The 2012 census reported a population of 170,685. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's North Coast, Wine Country and the North Bay; the fifth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont; and the 26th most populous city in California. (more...)

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Carnaval San Francisco 2005 - Samba dancers.jpg
Samba dancers at Carnaval San Francisco, 2005
image credit: Tu Foto

Recently in the Bay Area

2017
Customers waiting to purchase the Tesla 3 in Walnut Creek, California
Satellite image of smoke from California wildfires
If not now, when?
Acting San Francisco Mayor London Breed
2018
Cannabis performance art, 2016, San Francisco

The Bay Area by year

1927
Moss Beach Distillery today

Selected historical image

Duck Hunt Marshy Shoreline San Francisco Bay Alameda County california.jpg
Promotional postcard for duckhunting in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1915. caption reads: "Hundreds of thousands of wild duck haunt the marshy shoreline of some parts of San Francisco Bay, affording the finest sport during the season."
image credit: Publicity Commissioners of Alameda County

Did you know...

Emiko Omori and Victor Wong
Tim Stearns
The Oceanic, 1871
Ghost Ship warehouse interior

 • ... that filmmaker Emiko Omori (pictured, left, with Victor Wong) began her career in 1968 at KQED, becoming one of the first camerawomen to work in news documentaries?
 • ... that Fisher Creek is tributary to the largest freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County, Laguna Seca, a seasonal lake important to groundwater recharge and migratory birds?
 • ... that San Francisco based architect Jack Hillmer is known for his meticulously hand-crafted Modernist homes built from redwood, and was an exponent of what Lewis Mumford called the "Bay Region style"?
 • ... that Stanford University Department of Biology chairman Tim Stearns (pictured), together with his wife, medical researcher Susan Cleveland, tend a fruit tree orchard at their home in Redwood City?
 • ... that the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company's flagship, the Oceanic (pictured), set a Pacific crossing record of 16 days and 10 hours, 8 days less than the ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company?
 • ... that the building consumed in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire had at least ten complaints filed on it since 1998? (interior damage pictured)
 • ... that after Agnes Fay Morgan conducted a nutritional study with foxes, she presented her data wearing a stole made from the fur of her subjects?

Previous Did you know...

Crisis hotline sign at the Golden Gate Bridge
Robot assemblers at the Tesla Factory
Panama–Pacific commemorative coins

April 2015

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30th anniversary t-shirt

CAAMFest, known prior to 2013 as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival is presented every March in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films. It annually presents approximately 130 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose. The festival is organized by the Center for Asian American Media.

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~ Cyra McFadden, The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County (page 1)

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Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas

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GoldenGateBridge-001.jpg You are invited to participate in the San Francisco Bay Area task force, a task force dedicated to developing and improving articles about the San Francisco Bay Area.

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