It's the story that keeps on giving. Billboards spring up like weeds in this town, dotting the boulevards, sprouting from rooftops, blocking the sun, the construction crews often building without permission from the city.
Reporters from just about every network and newspaper in town have been asking Los Angeles city officials for years to turn over a list of billboard locations to help determine which were legal and which were rogue. Such a list would surely exist if the city were keeping track of its permits, right? Wrong.
Over and over, officials have said that no list existed, or at least not one that was complete and organized in any useful manner. Not until now.
The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety has finally (finally!) released a giant data dump of billboard locations, complete with permit information, potential violations, company ownership, and a number of other tidbits of data.
We're pretty excited about this development. Our producers and reporters have been on this story since the first season of "SoCal Connected" -- you can view the full series here, and catch our latest update here. We're already diving into the data to see what we can find out, and we'll be reporting back to you again soon.
For those who don't want to wait, we've included a spreadsheet exactly as we received it from the city. It's not the most user-friendly document, but it does include instructions.
Download it, search it, map it, do your own analysis. But let us know what you find out, and stay tuned for our analysis, complete with interactive map.
Update: View the map here.
Download the data here: