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Arts and Entertainment

Map: L.A. County Has A Lot Of Pools, But Most Of Them Are In The 'Burbs

(Photo by Karol Franks via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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A fun map uses tax parcel data and aerial maps to take you on a tour of L.A. County's private swimming pools. In a blog post, journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke describes reading a 2013 story in the L.A. Times about graphic designer Benedikt Gross and researcher Joseph Lee and their project to map Los Angeles County's many pools using satellite imagery and other data. They counted over 40,000, but noticed that some neighborhoods—including Watts and Florence—were sorely left out. Schwencke thought of the story again when looking through data from the L.A. County Assessor's office.

Schwencke noted that there are actually over 250,000 pools, with a great majority—96%—attached to big, gorgeous single-family homes. About 18% of these homes are in Los Angeles. Most pools can be found in the hills, the San Fernando Valley, Beverly Hills and Santa Clarita. When it comes to Los Angeles' inner city, residential pools are scarce. Those findings are somewhat unsurprising. Of course wealthy people in affluent neighborhoods have pools at their multi-million dollar estates.

"I was struck by just how dense pool ownership was outside of the central part of the makes sense on a lot of levels. But I think when you see it it's sort of striking," Schwencke told Co-exist.

And some of those pools, Schwencke noted, are empty or full of trash.

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"It turns out that South L.A. and other neighborhoods do have a lot of single family homes. It's just that they can't afford the space, the upkeep, of everything that goes into a pool," he said.

If you enjoy looking at real estate listings and the like, it's fun to click around the map and peek at L.A.'s pools. Each click will sweep you to another home, tell you how many bedrooms and bathrooms the house has, and where it's located. You can check out the size and shape of the pool using the aerial shots from Google maps and dream about sunny days and mimosas.

You can also check out Gross and Lee's short film, L.A. Swimmer: 43,123 Pools I Have Not Visited And Never Will. The title says it all.