Defining Los Angeles Neighborhood Boundaries

As proven by public outcry, the naming of a neighborhood and what borders define those communities is as controversial, if not more, than the latest city hall scandal. And perhaps city hall over the years is partly at fault: they are the ones who put up those blue signs telling you what neighborhood you're in, but ask them for documents and maps supporting those signs and you'll get a whole lot of nothing.

The issue of defining a neighborhood's border has come up again after the LA Times erroneously reported the neighborhood where part of an apartment building collapsed last week. What the conversation among blogs brought out was that LA Times' California editor David Lauter is working on a map that will soon publish and will be a living document with the public's participation—a very exciting prospect, indeed.

Additionally, there has been a Google map out there for a couple years done by the infamous LA City Nerd, whose popular blog went private and we rarely heard from again.

The anonymous Nerd said over instant message that this was a slow project that will be done over time. We sat on IM as the Nerd defined the borders of Del Rey and Playa Vista and it does take a good deal of time (over an hour each). The Nerd combs through city council files and historical planning documents posted online, which are all hard to find on the city's terrible website. Nevertheless, it's interesting to see what has been done so far.

With the work of the LA Times combined with the Nerd and the community, it's about time LA will have a real map.