A quick overview: DC's neighborhoods and administrative districts
A map of the District of Columbia showing the names and locations of neighborhoods. I've lived in Columbia Heights, a neighborhood sitting on top of a hill roughly 190 feet above sea level, in the northwest section of the city, for about five years.
The highest administrative subdivision of the District is a ward. DC is divided into the 8 wards shown above. Columbia Heights is located in Ward 1.
Each ward is subdivided into several ANCs, depending on its size. ANC 1A includes the Columbia Heights, Park View and Pleasant Plains neighborhoods.
Finally, each ANC is subdivided into several SMDs, each of which has approximately 2,000 citizens living in it. I live in ANC 1A05, which is roughly bordered by 16th street on the west, 14th street on the east, Newton street on the north and Irving Street on the south.