How two guys mapped all the pools in Los Angeles


Studio City - Back Yard and PoolRead Los Angeles Times

“Using complex computer mapping, they counted 43,123 between the Hollywood Hills and San Pedro, from pools shaded by leaf-covered pergolas in Santa Monica to ones surrounded by chain-link fences in Alhambra.

Along the way, they discovered something more than just the real-world versions of the iconic David Hockney pool utopias. Their project also proved that two non-experts were able to take a massive amount of freely available data to peek into other people’s lives. […]

The LA Swimmer — 43123 Pools I Have Not Visited and Never Will from Benedikt Groß on Vimeo.

The duo used eight publicly available databases, including’s Mapping L.A., for the project. Other data sets used included the county’s parcel boundaries service, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s crime database, the assessor’s data set and a database that contained those donating money during the Proposition 8 campaign on gay marriage and the Megan’s Law list of registered child molesters.

That’s why the “Big Atlas of L.A. Pools” came to include a map that shows where sex offenders with swimming pools live.

“It seems that very few sex offenders live on property with pools,” the analysis concluded.

The Big Atlas of LA Pools – #0 Process and Overview from Benedikt Groß on Vimeo.

Their research, which fills 6,000 pages in 74 printed volumes, concludes that the typical swimming pool in Los Angeles is oval-shaped and measures 16 feet, 4 inches by 33 feet, 6 inches, though there are numerous oddly shaped pools squeezed into backyards.

The atlas found that Beverly Hills has 2,481 — the highest per capita in the region. Long Beach boasts 2,859 pools, Rancho Palos Verdes 2,592. They could not come up with a total for the city of Los Angeles, because their count left out the San Fernando Valley, although the Brentwood section of the city has 1,920.

Image courtesy of Roger Wollstadt, CC BY 2.0

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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