The developers at Team Bondi captured the look and feel of 1947 L.A. in their highly anticipated game L.A. Noire, but not without help. Archivists from the UCLA Department of Geography to the Huntington Library shone a light on old maps, aerial photographs and the city’s seedy underbelly to provide Team Bondi’s designers with inspiration:
In UCLA’s Department of Geography, a unique collection of aerial photography-combined with topographical information from the U.S. Geological Survey-helped the game developers flesh out the two-dimensional street layout into a three-dimensional model of a living city. From roughly 1920 through 1971, Robert Spence leaned out of airplanes and snapped photos of the city below with his 46-pound camera. Spence’s photographs, now the Spence Air Photo Collection at the UCLA Geography Air Photo Archive, depict a city inhabited by pedestrian, trolley, and automobile traffic and marked with road construction and oil wells—details reflected in the game.
More amazing photos and details here.