Heat Maps Chart LA Culture

Sunset Strip shines as LA's culture Mecca

Despite the concentration of hipsters, photo booths and cans of Tecate (Yes, I'm looking at you, Cha Cha Lounge), Silver Lake is not the "buzziest" culture hub in Los Angeles.

According to a new study, "The Geography of Buzz: Art, Culture and the Social Milieu in Los Angeles and New York" (PDF), the buzz of LA centers along the illustrious Sunset Strip.

It's tough to balance our love of cartography with our love of cultural and artistic social events, but thanks to the work of USC assistant professor Elizabeth Currid, we can now have it both ways.

The study, coauthored by Currid and Columbia University's Sarah Williams, tracked geo-coded photos from Getty Images to create heat maps charting the most socially active hubs in LA and NY. The visually stunning maps were based on more than 6,000 events and 300,000 images.

"In Los Angeles the 'buzziest' areas were identified in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, along the Sunset Strip -- not in Silver Lake or Echo Park," researchers said in a news release.

"The researchers found that 'those not conventionally involved in city development (paparazzi, marketers, media) have unintentionally played a significant role in the establishment of buzz and desirability hubs within a city.' In addition, the findings 'have implications for city development, consumption and the fetishizing of particular places,'" according to the release.

The study charted art, fashion, film, music, theater and television. To see all the heat maps, visit the full report online.

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