City of Angels and Demons

Los Angeles is known as the City of Angels. However, it is also a City of Demons. Its streets are filled with rivaling gangs — the Bloods and the Crips.

The above map shows the territories of the two main gangs in South Los Angeles. This choropleth map is effective in showing the distribution of territories. The user of this map might be the police force of LA, researchers, people with bizarre interests, and the gangs themselves.


This map has many faults. First, the color of the freeways is the same as the color of the Blood Gang. As a result, this leaves a question: “Does Blood Gang dominate freeways?” It brings ambiguity to what the color red in the map stands for. Next, the lines used. The color of the borders should be darker. It should be black, and the streets/freeways should be gray to differentiate streets/freeways from blocks. Another one is the legend. The phrase 270 gangs with the gangs above and scale bar beneath looks vague. Does it mean that each square is equivalent to 270 gang members? Or does it mean that the length of the scale bar is equivalent to 270 gang members. Obviously, the objects in the legend are compressed into a small box. There are texts which are very small and hard to read. There is no uniformity in the labels. On the other hand, the use of striking colors seems appropriate for the topic.


Honestly, the overall visual effect of the map is a mess. There is no balance. The objects in the map are hard to distinguish from the other. There are many blank spaces. The placement of legend is inappropriate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s