It’s a well-known fact that GTA 5’s map is based on California, and the city of Los Santos is based on Los Angeles. However, you might be surprised to find out just how close the two are related. Some fans have put together a neat little tool that indexed all of the identical locations in both worlds.
Taking a quick look at the map GTA 5 will tell you immediately that Rockstar took some major liberties when adapting California and Los Angeles. First of all, Cali isn’t an island, nor is it even remotely shaped like San Andreas is in the game. Los Angeles also has a distinctively different shape than Los Santos.
Nonetheless, this interactive map with all landmarks highlighted will prove that the guys working on this have actually put a ton of effort to make the city look and feel just like the real thing. While GTA 5’s Los Santos is a lot smaller than Los Angeles, with countless streets and locations cut to make it all fit, many landmarks are right where they should be.
This extends beyond just LS too. Many of the natural landmarks in California and other settlements such as Malibu are represented accurately, with attention paid to location and proximity to other landmarks. In some cases, minor changes have been made, likely to avoid legal trouble, but the landmarks are recognizable nonetheless.
Naturally, the largest concentration of identical landmarks can be found in the city itself, and their sheer number is astounding. Almost every building in Los Santos is unique, with very few assets having been reused, and this is due to pretty much all of them having their real-world counterparts.
Everything from iconic buildings that make up the skyline to the smallest diner and motel can be found. Entirely everyday and unremarkable apartment buildings, houses, malls, warehouses and shops are rendered in an entirely recognizable way. Of course, this is all only apparent to Los Angeles natives, but there is definitely a few treats for them in the game.
Moving north, the number of realistically rendered landmarks decreases suddenly and significantly, with Chumash, Sandy Shores and Paleto Bay being small concentrated areas. That said, things like Fort Zancudo, which is the analogy for an actual military base, the Cape Catfish lighthouse and even the windfarm are all actual places that exist.
Which real-life landmarks did you discover in GTA 5?