The Bel Air and Hidden Hills neighborhoods of Los Angeles have pools as far as the eye can see says Fast Company staff writer Adele Peters. A new map from The Thrust and mapmaker Ken Schwencke shows just how many private backyard pools there are in certain parts of the city and, thus, how much 'inequality' is present in Los Angeles's housing market.
As you click through the visualization, it randomly zooms to an aerial view of a neighborhood, something that Schwencke found himself doing as he explored the data. "I just started googling random addresses and looking at the pools," he says. "I found myself doing this a lot, and so I built a system to do it for me so I could browse the data set."
He noticed a lot of contrasts between the neighborhoods—some featured lush backyards with large pools, while some neighborhoods consisted of tiny row houses with only one small community pool.
In total, there are roughly 250,000 pools in L.A. County, far more than a previous atlas showed when other designers attempted to map the pools in city limits. In Beverly Hills, 60% of homes have a pool; in Hidden Hills, 87% do. "I was struck by just how dense pool ownership was outside of the central part of the city...it makes sense on a lot of levels," says Schwencke. "But I think when you see it it's sort of striking."