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This guide contains recommendations on resources, search tips, as well as information about citing your sources in MLA 8 style format for your research assignment on LA Neighborhoods and PsychoGeography


The fieldwork you will do when analyzing your neighborhood has several components, including interviews with people who live in or are knowledgeable about the neighborhood and your own personal observation.  It also includes acquiring information such as building codes and demographics. 

If you are not sure where to start with interviewing, or you are not necessarily familiar with your chosen neighborhood, a good place to start is the neighborhood or city’s local historical society.  See the suggestions on the next page for finding these societies.

For codes, regulations and demographics, the most up-do-date sources are often government agencies.  Also see the suggestions below for accessing this data.


NDSC is a free, publicly available online resource on Los Angeles County neighborhoods. Explore the website to find an online interactive map to select your neighborhood and get results that include data on many aspects of interest  (see left hand column on screenshot below).  


The LA Times maintains a great database on demographic information on LA's neighborhoods. Click on the image to access this open web database! Select your neighborhood from the bottom left. 


Social Explorer is a tool for visualizing and interacting with data and for creating maps, charts, reports. It has hundreds of thousands of built-in data indicators related to demography, economy, health, politics, environment, crime, and more. Create an account so that you can save maps, etc.

View this video to see how to get started with Social Explorer:

Use the Profiles feature to find data about neighborhoods in LA by zip code:

screenshot of the Profiles search for zip code 91207 in Social Explorer

Use the Maps feature and select a data source and a geography level to visualize data:

screenshot of the maps search for families below poverty level, by US Census Tract in the Los Angeles area.


Most cities and towns now have their municipal codes, including building codes, available on their websites.  Simply search using the name of the city/town state and building code.  For example, the following Google search yields the Glendale City webpage with various codes and regulations:

If you have specific questions about the code, you may also search the city's website for the Building or Planning Dept to see what is available on that site.  You can also contact the​ department and explain your project to them. Like the historical society, most of the time, people in these departments will be happy to help or refer you to someone who can. If you do not get a response, contact them again. Do not give up.

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