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Los Angeles Times Will Do The Unthinkable

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The Los Angeles Times will do the unthinkable--they will attempt to define the neighborhood boundaries of Los Angeles. Masochists! Everyone knows the bitter feuding and arguing that goes on when one tries to do this. Here's the backstory: Earlier this week, downtown blogger Brady Westwater called out the paper for making a geographic mistake in a story about Westlake. In response, Los Angeles Times California editor David Lauter told Westwater the paper was in the process of creating a definitive neighborhood map, and would use the input of readers to help craft this important document (additionally, census blocks would be used as the matrix). Having more questions about the Los Angeles Times' Great Map Project of 2009, we wrote to Lauter. Here's part of his email reply: "As you noted, arguments about neighborhood boundaries have been a constant in LA for years.

More from Lauter: "We'd like to be able to do some consistent analysis of data that would allow readers to compare different parts of the city. In order to do that, we need to come up with a set of neighborhood definitions. Rather than try to do it all ourselves, our plan is to come up with a preliminary map and then post it on the site and invite folks to make suggestions. I can't give you an exact date for when we'll do that, but I expect it will be soon as we're pretty close. Once we get comments and ideas from the public, we'll put together a definitive map -- or at least definitive for our purposes -- and make that available along with the data we analyze. As I noted to Brady, it's a bit of a complex process because doing any sort of data analysis means that we need to be able to put lines on a map that correspond with Census boundaries." Godspeed, Los Angeles Times.
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