MAP: Literary LA

Literary LA

The Los Angeles Times produced this map of Literary LA to show the varied and broad literary history of the City of Angels. The map provides information about more than sixty locations for literary allusions, bookstores, and landmarks.

Built on an Open Street Map base layer, the map uses sleek, numbered markers that make them easy to cross-reference with the locations listed in the right sidebar. Clicking on a marker or sidebar link opens a pop-up that includes a short description of the location. Like other maps created by news organizations, the pop-ups are enhanced by the high quality photos drawn from the newspaper’s vast archive of images of the city. The pop-ups also have a clean color-coded design with forward and backward buttons to navigate through the presentation in order, along with a button to receive directions to the location.

While the Los Angeles Times map is not the first nor the largest newspaper map that we have seen, its execution keeps it among the best designed maps we have reviewed so far. Unfortunately while large newspapers have proven capable of mustering the resources and interest necessary to produce maps of this nature, they show little effort to expand them beyond their original ideas. This is understandable–the maps provide diminishing returns–but having literary maps that continue to grow over time would have a value that increases over generations.

We reviewed another literary map of Los Angeles produced by Warby Parker. While that map had its own simple charms, its static design could not offer the level of depth that appears on this map.

Are there even more literary maps of Los Angeles out there? If you know of any or would like to share your thoughts about this one, please do in the Comments below or by emailing us at