Category Archives: Maps

Tracking the DASH Online

DT Dash

How sweet is this?  On Monday, LA DOT started a public beta for receiving live tracking information of your friendly neighborhood DASH service.  If you go to on your computer or phone, LADOT has provided four equally convenient ways for you to get your bus information:  1) you can live track your downtown DASH using Google Maps; 2) for the minimalists, you can simply use drop down menus to plug in your route and stop to get expected arrival times; 3) for those of us without Internet-equipped phones, call (213) 785-3858 and navigate the phone menu to hear arrival information; and 4) for those of us who don’t like talking to machines, but don’t mind texting one, figure out your stop number, and send a text to dtdash[stop number] to 414111.

Now, if we can get this set up for the MTA, that would be awesome.

The Friendly Gasoline Machine of Sherman Oaks

This friendly gasoline machine has been dispensing sage advice for over ten years now.

I used to work at the nearby mall–there’s an afterschool art-education program there, and I used to teach art to kids there. Whenever I could, I’d go here for gasoline. You can find it at the corner of Woodman and Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks (map).

It’s not the cheapest gas in town, but it’s clearly the most articulate.


Read the rest of its sagacious advice after the jump…

Continue reading The Friendly Gasoline Machine of Sherman Oaks

Warning signs

Total CrisisPedestrians are not as plentiful in Los Angeles as cars, alas. So most likely if you saw this, it was on the intertubes and not at a crosswalk.

Total Crisis Panic Button has been installed (at crosswalks) all over Los Angeles by Jason Eppink, a New York-based mutimedia artist. He’s even included a Google map to assist in locating them.

And if you hate those huge video billboards as much as I do, his treatment in 2007 of the smaller street-level version might compel you to take similar action, thanks to this how-to video.

Eppink’s other projects can been seen at his site, Senseless Venn Diagrams.

Via Urban Prankster

Unless You “Won” A Ticket, Avoid Downtown Tomorrow

Where you should not be tomorrow - click to biggify

I think it’s pretty much a given that, unless you’re Will or anyone else who won a ticket to Michael Jackson’s memorial service downtown tomorrow morning, you ought to absolutely, completely, totally, and definitively avoid going downtown at all costs tomorrow.  If you still need convincing, the LAPD reports that it will barricade the Staples Center and the Nokia Theater within a large perimeter bounded by Olympic, Flower, Pico and Blaine.  The MTA plans to detour over 20 bus lines that serve the downtown area; the big list is over here.  For those of you still hoping to get tickets, eBay is purportedly removing profit-seeking scalpers listing their winnings, though for a cool $10 plus shipping, you can buy a photo of MJ plus an email informing someone that they did not win the raffle.  Geesh, everyone’s out to make a buck these days.

Destiny Disrupted (even more ALOUD)

muslim_constitution_religionIt feels like I’m spending my life at the library nowadays. There are surely many far worse fates. The LA Central Library’s ALOUD series of free lectures continues to attract me back, with an ever fascinating array of guests.  Last week, I had seen Walter Kirn speak on his book Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever.  That was an enjoyable program, and Kirn is extremely personable; but for this post, I will comment on last night’s talk with Tamim Ansary, who was presented and interviewed by Amir Hussain (a co-presentation of ALOUD and The Center for Global Understanding).  The title of Ansary’s book matches his talk: Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes.

Of all the talks I have heard at ALOUD, I found Ansary to be the most engaged and fascinating speaker to date. Continue reading Destiny Disrupted (even more ALOUD)

One more time: LA Times revamps their interactive neighborhood maps

mapping_la_hoods_hedNo good deed goes unpunished was the case when the Los Angeles Times initially unveiled their interactive map of LA neighborhoods a few months ago. Much bickering about neighborhood boundaries ensued, and so nearly 100 border revisions have been made, along with the addition of a lot more information about neighborhood demographics covering topics like personal income, education, ethnicity and, interestingly, marriage statistics.

For example, Silver Lake has among the highest numbers of unmarried males and females in the city. I’m guessing this may be an indication of the prevailing sexual orientation of area residents, long known as a gay bastion. It led me to wonder if sexual orientation was a demographic included in the map (although such data is not officially collected,) would marriage statistics fluctuate accordingly once same-sex marriage is legalized (again.)

Anyway, LAT assures us the map will continue to be a work in progress as they go on collecting information and reader comments.

Those Most Sporting of Street Closures: LA Marathon Monday

lamarathonIt’s that time again! I understand the LA Marathon is a world-class athletic event offering us humans the possibility to excel and revel in our physicality, but for me, the LA Marathon means one thing: road closures.

This year’s route begins in downtown, heading south on Fig, and jogs around Exposition Park; proceeds west on Exposition Blvd. to jog south through Leimert Park; heads up to Rodeo ROAD via Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd; north on Crenshaw to Venice; then zigzags up La Cienega to Pico, executing a u-turn via San Vicente to Wilshire & 6th Street, heading east again through the Tar Pits area & Hancock Park; meanders around in Hancock Park/K-Town a little bit before heading to Olympic, pointed east; and then returns to its starting point downtown.

Plan your routes accordingly. The map is here.

Photo by mil8 via Creative Commons.

The awnings of a new era

The Flapper

I was walking at night, near my home, in what the LA Times apparently calls “Mid-City,” and found myself strangely transported by the spirits of the stucco and Spanish-style 1920s houses on these nice blocks. It is this architecture that feels most “Los Angeles” to me, though admittedly perhaps largely simply as an artifact of where I have lived during my fairly brief sojourn here.  Accompanied by my dearest native informant, thoughts started to swirl in my mind, about the people whom these houses first saw, and what in turn these people saw, and how they would see this neighborhood now.

My quandry, in this case, was mostly technological, if you can perhaps extend “technology” to encompass that part of it that concerns the social and political organization and regimentation of people themselves.  Michel Foucault is always relatively dear in my thoughts.  Grabbing an average American, but not necessarily an Angeleno per se, from 1925, what would he or she think of 2009 Los Angeles? … Continue reading The awnings of a new era

Medical pot dispensaries off the hook

Today’s NY Times recounted medical marijuana dispensary owners in Los Angeles greeting this week’s announcement by the new US Attorney General, Eric H. Holder Jr., that the Justice Dept. has no plans to prosecute the pot dispensaries if they are running their businesses legally according to state law in CA.

The back-and-forth about CA’s ballot initiative process in the comments section of my previous post notwithstanding, I’m assuming a good deal of our readers are happy about the 1996 passage of Prop 215, which legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Twelve other states have similar laws. In my view, it’s a backdoor way to begin decriminalizing pot, which has been long overdue.

Other countries have made marijuana legal and have not become unhinged as a result– although I will concede the point that, as a nation, the US seems pretty unhinged already, even when it’s stone-cold sober. Maybe a little pot now and then would take the edge off of the likes of hedge fund managers and financial analysts, mellow them out a bit and make them realize there’s more to life than making money. I’m not holding my breath, but I will be inhaling. (Groovy LA pot map after the clickoris.) Continue reading Medical pot dispensaries off the hook

Mapping LA’s Unemployment Rates

map1As I eagerly await for my firm to finally stop threatening us and lay off whomever it is going to lay off (yay, capitalism!), I’m seeing so many others being “let go,” “asked to leave,” “[insert business-friendly euphemism for ‘You produce less than your cost’ here].”  With Forbes’s national layoff tracker looking like a twisted version of the Battlestar Galactica survivor count and the mainstream media’s frustratingly skewed coverage of the recession, I thought it would be interestingly sad to visualize unemployment rates close to home.  Using the California Employment Development Department’s statistics for LA County-area unemployment rates in January 2009, I did my best to geomap the relevant data with ZeeMap’s awesome mapping service.  The green markers represent cities where the unemployment rate is less than 5%; the yellow represent rates of 5-10%; the red represents 11-15%; and the grey represents cities with the most depressing statistic:  greater than 15% of its population unemployed.  Clicking on any marker in the legend removes that particular data set from the map.

I have two caveats about this.  First, I’m a complete novice at this geomapping thing, so I’m sure there are mistakes.  I used an online batch geocoder to obtain longitude and latitude data and spot-checked any cities that seemed off.  That said, I still may have missed some.  Second, this map is just a means of representing the EDD’s statistics.   As such, this map shares the same limitations as the original data.  These limitations are more thoroughly explained at the bottom of this page.

One thing I would like to do is to  add historical data from January 2007 or 2008.  Seeing the change in rates may more useful than the above map to fully appreciate the depth of the current crisis.  I’ll do this when I get a bit more time – for example, if and when I get laid off…

LA on your iPhone

Have you ever tried searching for Los Angeles in the iTunes App Store?


I did it sort of by accident and was shocked to see so many options. I picked up LA Traffic Cam because the idea of having all those traffic cams in LA streaming right to my phone just seemed kind of fun. The reality is a bit less glamorous – the video is very choppy and 4/5 cams are offline every time I look. There’s also no shortage of Map apps, but I grabbed Mappity Los Angeles because it seemed to be the most comprehensive. Most people I know carry around Thomas Guides in their car, so having that level of map available regardless of data connection seemed like it might come in handy. There’s a lot of travel guides too, which not being someone who is visiting LA but rather one who has lived here for many many many years are all but useless to me. Also some stuff for sportsfans. Of course these are just the apps with “Los Angeles” in their name, anyone found anything less obvious that comes in handy around LA?

LA Times Tries to Define Los Angeles


When  Jenny Beorkrem set out to make this awesome typographical map of Los Angeles, she was well aware of the politics, insanely intense neighborhood pride, and the death war that is launched when you talk to the wrong person at the wrong bar and refer to Silver Lake as the “East Side.”  So, ideally, the LA Times is taking note of all this as it culls together its “Mapping LA” neighborhood project.

Designed to  be “a tool that will allow reporters and editors to be consistent when describing neighborhoods in news stories in a city that sometimes seems to change the names like most people change socks,” the Times says it’s intent on drilling down, once and for all, who lives where.  It’s a pretty nifty interactive map – probably one of the better things the Times has done lately.

Some quick thoughts on this after the jump.

Continue reading LA Times Tries to Define Los Angeles

Where? Check out the Story Map!

Los Angeles Metblogs StorymapWe’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with the folks at to bring Story Maps to LA Metblogs (as well as most of our US sites). Astute readers will note these have been live for a few days now but you know with the weekend and beta testing and stuff, we thought it might be best to hold off until today to throw a big fuss about them. So commence fuss throwing immediately. These little maps which you’ll find on the right side of the site will give you a visual representation of where what we’re talking about is. At a glance you can see which posts relate to what parts of town. We think they are super cool and hope you do too!