Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

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The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

California Bay Area county map.svg
SF Bay area USGS.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California, United States. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, 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 7.44 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 urban area of San Francisco and San Jose is the second largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth largest in the United States, and the 56th largest urban area in the world.

The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) does not use the nine-county definition of the San Francisco Bay Area. The OMB has designated a more extensive 12-county Combined Statistical Area (CSA) titled the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area which also includes the three counties of San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, and San Benito that do not border San Francisco Bay, but are economically tied to the nine counties that do.

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area has high incomes, performing 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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The first prototype of a computer mouse, as designed by Bill English from Engelbart's sketches.
The Mother of All Demos is a name given retrospectively to Douglas Engelbart's December 9, 1968, computer demonstration at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. The live demonstration featured the introduction of a complete computer hardware—software system called the oN-Line System or more commonly, NLS. The 90-minute presentation essentially demonstrated almost all the fundamental elements of modern personal computing: windows, hypertext, graphics, efficient navigation and command input, video conferencing, the computer mouse, word processing, dynamic file linking, revision control, and a collaborative real-time editor (collaborative work). Engelbart's presentation was the first to publicly demonstrate all these elements in a single system. The demonstration was highly influential and spawned similar projects at Xerox PARC in the early 1970s. The underlying technologies influenced both the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows graphical user interface operating systems in the 1980s and 1990s. (more...)

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Steve Jobs Headshot 2010-CROP.jpg
Steven PaulSteveJobs (/ˈɒbz/; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur, and inventor, who was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he is widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming “one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies.” Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar. Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC's mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Apple Lisa and, a year later, the Macintosh. He also played a role in introducing the LaserWriter, one of the first widely available laser printers, to the market. (more...)

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Oakland, the county seat of Alameda County, lies on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, nestled against the Berkeley Hills and bordering five of the East Bay Regional Parks. To Oakland's north is Berkeley, home to the renowned University of California, Berkeley, and to its west across the Bay Bridge is San Francisco. Founded in 1852, it quickly became an important center of trade, serving as the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad. Its population doubled with the arrival of refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and attracted large numbers of laborers during World War II. It sustained significant economic loss following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1991 Oakland firestorm. (more...)

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Recently in the Bay Area

Apple Watch
USS Independence in the San Francisco Bay
Tesla's Powerwall
Stephen Curry in 2015
Next Thing Co. logo

The Bay Area by year

The "Big Four" graft prosecutors (left to right) Frances J. Heney, William J. Burns, Fremont Older and Rudolph Spreckels.
Original Bank of Pinole building

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Did you know...

The Usermontu mummy
Tony Gemignani
Panama-Pacific commemorative coin

 • ... that the Usermontu mummy (pictured, left), at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, had an iron orthopedic screw placed inside his left knee at the time of his death?
 • ... that pizza chef Tony Gemignani (pictured, right) opened Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco's Little Italy in 2009, which was named "The Best Pizzeria in America" by Forbes magazine?
 • ... that the octagonal $50 piece of the Panama-Pacific commemorative coin issue (pictured, right) is the only U.S. coin that is not round?

Previous Did you know...

Oakland City Hall

October 2009

Selected periodic event

Blue Angels in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

The traditional Fleet Week celebrations in San Francisco were expanded in 1981, and held in conjunction with Columbus Day Weekend celebrations during the second week of October. The event is estimated to attract over one million people, drawn to the air show along the waterfront, including the Blue Angels (pictured), the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron.


John Steinbeck 1962.jpg
~ John Steinbeck,
*more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

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The San Francisco Giants win game one of the 2010 World Series

Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas

Things you can do


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.

Related Portals

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San Francisco Bay Area categories

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