Locations can be mapped in a variety of ways. Maps are not just a way to see and navigate the world - they double back and are interpretations that create the world. No map is complete - they highlight and obscure. Islands of LA mapping projects are ongoing and have the impossible goal of mapping all the traffic islands in the world. The entire Islands of LA project can be seen as a way to map the city and investigate the use and availabiity of traffic islands as public space through movement, field trips...the use of these spaces.
If you find a mistake on one of the maps, please send an email and include a link and description of the mistake. In the future, you will be able to submit locations and stories. There will also be charts or indices of locations.
Map of Islands for Public Assembly: This is an interactive or tactical map of traffic islands that are suitable for public assembly, a concept derived from the First Amendment's protection of people's right to peaceably assemble. The map is currently centered on Los Angeles since that is the location of most of the islands that have been mapped. You can use the map to find locations and learn about activities. Traffic Islands are open all the time, you don't need a permit, there is no fee, and they are everywhere. Usually they are in the middle of the "bustle of undifferentiated humanity," according to a 4th appellate court decision in Virginia (see Island Law). But not all islands are good for public assembly. The ones that are provide us with a unique perspective on the city. You may think hanging out on an island is horrible, with the traffic and smog and noise. But our sense of what they are like and what can be done on them is based on limited experience. Usually we see them from the car or are hanging onto the nose of an island in the middle of a melee of lanes and cars. But what is it really like to hang out for several hours on one of these publicly owned, public spaces? Visit one and find out. Coming soon, a chart by usability category (i.e. size, landscape).
Map of All Traffic Islands: This map includes all island locations regardless of whether they are suitable for public assembly or not. The map is centered on the most recently mapped location.
Islands Anyone? is a project for the Washington Blvd Art Concert that invites everyone to visit, share and schedule temporary use of traffic islands for assembly and expressive conduct at any time, including before, during and after the Washington Blvd Art Concert. The Art Concert is a one day event curated by Stephen Van Dyck to bring together creative people to plan activities on Washington Blvd, one of the longest roads in Los Angeles.
Other Mapping Projects:
Placemap: Public Art Studies Students from USC: A group of students from USC and their teacher, Susan Gray, visit an island in Hollywood. After a confab about mapping, they broke into groups to map the place.
Islands and Streams: Beneath the city there are rainwater tributaries that carry rainwater to the L.A. River, Compton Creek and other waterways in the city. Many traffic islands are on top of these tributaries.
Rhythm Analysis: The event was led by artist and urban geographer, Ismail Farouk, who was here from Johannesburg on a fellowship with the MAK Center that is called the Urban Futures Initiative.
Listing of traffic islands on the interactive maps:
For Middle Eastern solidarity, lets gather safely in the city and stoke the kindling of group liberty. We’ll meet at San Vicente and 20th on Sunday. Moving, from 8 to 9pm, a soiree along the wide, grassy median way. Bring a story, snack or quote, a poem, a song of middle eastern origin. Holding candles [...]