Category Archives: Maps

Wikiamapia – Los Angeles

wikimapia.jpgHave you checked out Wikimapia? It’s an open source Google Maps mashup.

You can just browse what people have labeled, you can search the map and even add to it. Check out what’s been going on with the labeling of Los Angeles.

Some of the labels are obvious things, like landmarks and interchanges, but others are fascinating little tidbits like a stretch of Western in San Pedro that someone seems to think folks drive to fast on.

The only thing that I don’t like about it so far is that you can’t draw irregular shapes. Everything is rectangular. I’d like to be able to put legislative, district and council borders on there, but it’s just not possible at the moment. How cool would that be? You just find your house and you can see at a glance where your police station is, who your city councilperson is, who your state rep is and so on.

Super cool old school maps of LA


I’ve always been drawn into illustrated maps, that’s probably their intent to begin with, but upon finding one I faced with no choice but sitting there and reading every minor citation. And if I know the place being mapped then you can expect me to go through them all twice. This morning Xeni sent me a link to this illustrated map of Los Angeles painted by Joseph Jacinto “Jo” Mora in the first half of the 1900s. 45 minutes after panning and scanning I downloaded the high res version because I knew I’d be back. This map is one of many that the Library of Congress has online in an exhibition called Los Angeles Mapped including a ton of very old perspectives on what this city looked like from above. A few favorites include a 1639 version showing California as an island, this 1909 look at Dowtown LA when the city had a population of 300K, but this 1873 map is the earliest one of LA in their collection and having been inked only 92 years after LA was first settled shows how far we’ve come since then. As noted there, much touted “oldest street in LA” Olvera Street was originally called Wine Street.

IAAL/MAF Goes East


For those keeping track, the IAAl/MAF is growing stronger by the day. Since shifting our Thursday evening rides to an 8pm start time, we’ve been able to fit into more people’s schedules. In fact we had 10 people on last nights ride through downtown, east LA, and Vernon making it the biggest one yet. Highlights can be shown with any one of the awesome photos that Mack Reed took including the one above. We saw some really great Madonnas, crazy factories, and some of the really cool places downtown. We also had rifles pointed at us from rooftops, and baseball bats shook at us from street corners, but wisely don’t have photos of that. Nothing to worry about though, once people saw we were offical, we were welcomed with open arms. Or at least not fired upon.

UPDATE: Mack has a much better and more detailed write up over on LAVoice.

Drivehacker!&#153 (Franklin and Highland) many Angelenos, I selfishly keep certain driving and parking secrets reserved for pillow talk. But in the case of the juggernaut at Franklin and Highland I think a little traffic karma might go a long way.

For those unfamilar with the area, the intersection is a strange one, as Franklin Blvd. runs east and west, but makes a proverbial jig at Highland, which runs north and south… drivers are thus forced to make a turn onto Highland and drive just under 100 yards before turning back onto Franklin Blvd.* Situated just short of the Hollywood Bowl and practically on top of Hollywood & Highland, the intersection is heavily trafficked, and in large part due to the awkward traffic flow, is prone to gridlock. However, this Drivehack!&#153 guide should help you manage it with ease (click image above or here for larger guide map).

If driving Eastbound on Franklin (away from the beach, toward Los Feliz, the Griffith Observatory, etc.), when you get near Highland always keep to the right lane – even if you plan on turning left to head north, as the left lane tend to get the most packed. This also allows for two Drivehacks!
Drivehack!&#153 #1. If you want to continue East on Franklin, avoid some traffic by driving STRAIGHT across the intersection instead of “making the jig”. This will put you on the block long Franklin Place before turning left onto Las Palmas and right back onto Franklin.
Drivehack!&#153 #2. Or if you’re planning to head North for the 101 entrance on Highland and traffic is severely backed up, you can instead make the right onto Franklin (or follow the route above) and hop onto the freeway at Vine.
Continue reading Drivehacker!&#153 (Franklin and Highland)

More maps!


In the spirit of Sean’s floodmaps below, I was running around at Curbed LA last night and ran across this article that highlights maps from Propertyshark with, among other things, an extensive breakdown of the density of single men in LA. Ladies, take note.

For living and hanging out in an area with a “scarce” population of single dudes you’d think I’d be doing better with the ladies, wouldn’t you? The data is apparently culled from the 2000 census so be wary, not only is there no way to tell if the single men are straight or not but single men may’ve shifted since the map was made.

Silverlake Reservoir Design Revision


Ken McCown, Kevin Hinders, Andy Wilcox and a handfull of students at Cal Poly(architecture and landscape architecture) took to producing a vision plan for the reuse of Silver Lake Reservoir in Los Angeles. Here’s a flickr photo set with their plans and full breakdown of the idea. “Instead of using the Colorado River and the California Aqueduct, this scheme uses the Los Angeles River water to keep the reservoir filled as it is being taken off line from the department of water and power. A ring canal cleans the water coming in from the river. Underground area beneath the new reservoir stores the water for use in the city delivery system.” [Thanks Tyler]

GarbageScout soon to hit LA?


I’m up in San Francisco for the weekend and just sawthis cool post by Phillip Torrone about the recently launched GarbageScout SF, the San Francisco version of New York’s Gartbage Scout. Basically from your phone, you can email a picture of something you see on the street being thrown away that someone might want to “[email protected]” and in the body of the email type a description @ location. (for example: monitor @ 1000 Sepulveda) and it will googlemap the location to the site. Although the FAQ. seems specific to NYC, it looks like GarbageScout LA is functional just without any posts yet. I’m not sure how to send something in to specify Los Angeles, but I’m hoping to see more there about it soon.

USGS Earthquakes on GoogleMaps

I mentioned this last summer, that I like to look at earthquakes on real maps. Well, the USGS has revamped their Recent Quakes pages and now there’s an option to view quake locations on a Maps.Google hybrid map.

It’s a little tough to find, but once you navigate to a quake event, you can click the Maps tab and see all the display options. The Google maps option is usually the last one and will pop up in a new window.


This microquake (1.7) pictured here seems to be centered in the golf course up at the Mountain Gate Country Club. It wish the little callout pins listed the size of the quake.

Sex Offended

fwd_logo.jpgAlright, even though I wish that this was hypercool Google Maps and Ajax enabled deal, it ain’t. But the information is there, and I guess that is all you need to know to protect your familia with the Family Watchdog. You enter your address, and then after an excrutiating minute or two, you get a map pinpointing all of the sexual offenders in your neighborhood, with details about their crime, as well as photograph. You can also get notifications of when a sexual predator moves near you.

The photograph part is sort of strange(especially when the subject has a mischievous smirk) and as I click on the map around my house I wonder if I will end up looking at someone who I see around the neighborhood. So far, I haven’t – but still. There are a crapload of sex offenders where I live.