Mapping the City of Angels: Los Angeles Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries
The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes over 140,000 maps of countries, regions, states, bodies of water, and cities from around the world. The GRMC includes a large collection of unique historic and modern maps of American cities, including Los Angeles, California.
Maps of the city include the adjoining communities of Long Beach, Compton, Torrance, Burbank, Carson, Pomona and others. A map of Los Angeles and Orange County was published to show the locations of industrial sites around the city. A map published in 1971 by Western Economic Research Company details home values in the Los Angeles five-county area from census tracts of the 1970 Census.
Los Angeles in Maps by Glen Creason was published in 2010 and includes prehistory and Native American maps of the Los Angeles area, early survey maps of the city, land booms, water resources maps, infrastructure and railways maps, tourist and maps of stars’ homes, a map created for the 1932 Summer Olympic Games, and historic maps of Hollywood (above, click to enlarge).
Historic bird’s-eye views of Los Angeles in 1877 and 1894 are also available in the GRMC. The Los Angeles maps include standard road maps dating back to 1924 that show the growth of the freeways around the city. Historic U.S. Geological Survey maps of the city detail the huge development of Los Angeles and the addition of landmarks like Dodger Stadium (above from 1966).
Drastic changes in the city have prompted cartographers to research the architectural history of Los Angeles. Urban designer Omar Ureta has created an interactive map of the ages of almost every one of the three million buildings in Los Angeles on his Built: LA site. Ureta used building outlines from the Los Angeles County GIS data portal and age data from the University of California at Los Angeles Web page to create the interactive map. Users can hover over a building on the map to see the date it was built or click on the color-coded timeline to explore when neighborhoods were developed. The building ages span from 1890 to 2008.
For more information about the cartographic resources available from Ball State University Libraries, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.