About Us

Curtis C. Roseman, professor emeritus of geography at USC.Curtis C. Roseman, professor emeritus of geography at USC.Geoffrey DeVerteuil, lecturer at School of Geography, University of Southampton.Geoffrey DeVerteuil, lecturer at School of Geography, University of Southampton. The idea for a map-based Web site on downtown Los Angeles was hatched in the early 1990s. Curtis C. Roseman, then Professor of Geography at USC (now Professor Emeritus), had been conducting walking tours of downtown since 1986 (and continues to do so today, two or three times a year). Assistant Professor of Geography John Wolcott had lived in downtown and had enthusiastically explored the area.

In the spring semester of 1993, under the direction of Wolcott and Roseman, a group of senior USC geography majors, enrolled in the Geography 494 “Proseminar,” began assembling material for the Web site. They took photos of various downtown scenes, wrote short captions to accompany them, and made some simple maps. In late spring 1993, the earliest version of the site appeared on the Web.

Roseman added material to the site over the next couple of years, until Geoffrey DeVerteuil arrived as a USC Geography graduate student in 1995. Soon thereafter, the two teamed up to significantly improve and expand the site. DeVerteuil constructed a new set of maps, which were used on the site until the summer of 2007. After Geoff left USC in 2001, Roseman continued to maintain and improve the site on a periodic basis. Then in 2007, Jennifer Mapes, a USC Geography graduate student working with the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council on a survey of downtown's historic buildings, became a new partner in the project. She constructed a new set of maps and helped to significantly improve the format and content of the site.

Our fifteenth anniversary will be celebrated in 2008. Since we started in 1993, numerous people have helped in a variety of ways; hopefully we have recognized all or most of them in the acknowledgements. We especially appreciate the support of the USC Department of Geography in this endeavor. We not only have a long-standing Web site, but also — as we have done since 1986 — various members of the USC Department of Geography continue to conduct actual walking tours of downtown Los Angeles.