L.A. Clean Streets

View Live Map →

Why We Love It

The Clean Streets L.A. map does more than provide data about litter. We love this map because it helps build healthy relationships between citizens and government in Los Angeles. It sparks honest conversations about which Los Angeles neighborhoods need the most help with litter cleanup, how to prioritize cleanup efforts near schools, where to find illegal dumping sites, and where to make more trash bins available.

Why It Works

This map works visually because it borrows a set of colors very familiar to the topic and the audience—the same red, yellow, and green used in traffic signals. Then, just like in a navigation app, this map uses red to call attention to a problem. The visual patterns that emerge require human context, which the city provides by calculating and showing neighborhoods and schools that need the most help.

Important Steps

Turn raw data into actionable information. The city collected its own data, street by street, and assigned each street a qualitative score:
1 = Clean
2 = Somewhat Clean
3 = Not Clean

Use color to support the complete story. Most streets are clean, so give credit where it’s due and use a positive color (green). Use an alert color (red) for the worst streets, and a transitional color (yellow) for the areas that could go either way. The overall goal is to drive the reds and yellows off the map.

People need to be able to zoom into their block and zoom out to see the entire city. Let the user click on a street, neighborhood, or school to see the score.

Count up and score the streets within each neighborhood to find those with a higher than “normal” amount of trash nearby. By scoring geographic areas, you have a way to prioritize the work in a holistic way, making an impact area by area.

Requirements

Data

As part of Mayor Eric Garcetti's Clean Streets initiative, the City's Bureau of Sanitation drove all of L.A.'s public streets and alleys (traveling over 22,000 miles!) and gave each block a “cleanliness score” from 1-3 for Clean, Somewhat Clean, and Not Clean. This assessment will be repeated every quarter.

Analysis

Data is aggregated into operational grids, which help the Bureau of Sanitation strategically deploy resources, such as a new dedicated Clean Streets clean-up crew. This map shows the average score within each grid. Red grids contain a lot of dirty streets while green grids contain mostly clean streets. Using Network Analyst’s Service Area tool, the Clean Routes to Schools map shows the number of dirty streets within a ¼-mile walking distance of each Los Angeles school.

Time

Driving all the streets in Los Angeles was the biggest time requirement. Publishing the layer to ArcGIS Online took one day to complete the initial draft, which involved fine-tuning the symbology using Smart Mapping and creating the Story Map.

Aggregate your Point Data

Tips

Aggregate your point data into grids to get a better understanding of overall patterns.

Use the dark gray pop-up

Tips

Use the dark gray pop-up to better highlight your text while also matching the dark gray basemap.

Network Analyst’s Service Area

Tips

Use Network Analyst’s Service Area tool to calculate a ¼-mile walking distance around each school.

More Information

Map Author

Lilian Coral

Lilian Coral

@lcoral

Chief Data Officer for the City of Los Angeles, in the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. Responsible for implementing the Mayor's vision of data-driven decision-making and problem solving through open data, data analytics, and digital service delivery. Native of Colombia; product of Los Angeles; student of the world. CDO @lamayorsoffice. Advocate 4 social justice, travel, and the NYC Knicks!

Start making maps with a free 60-day trial of ArcGIS.

Try ArcGIS →