A collection of all blog posts by Alan McConchie.

blog/Alan McConchie

Stamen x Stadia: harnessing modern vector cartography

Alan McConchie | 10.03.23

Not long after Stamen created our first Toner, Watercolor, and Terrain styles, a new technology came along: vector maps. Though it still used the paradigm of dividing up the world into map tiles, vector maps divide up the data into pre-processed chunks instead of the map itself. In vector cartography, the map is drawn dynamically...

Stamen x Stadia: familiar maps, brand new data

Alan McConchie | 09.26.23

Since 2011, Stamen has provided basemaps built upon OpenStreetMap (OSM), but it’s been several years since we updated the underlying data in them. We received a grant from the Knight Foundation a few years after their release to refresh Toner and Terrain, but it’s no small feat to keep a worldwide map updated with the...

Stamen x Stadia: the end of the road for Stamen’s legacy map tiles

Alan McConchie | 09.18.23

As you may have heard, we’ve partnered with Stadia Maps to create updated and modernized versions of our venerable basemap styles on Stadia’s infrastructure. You can read more about the announcement here and learn about some of the amazing features in the new maps in our recent blog post “Here Comes the Future of Stamen...

Here comes the future of Stamen Maps

Alan McConchie | 07.28.23

Since 2011, Stamen has provided free custom-designed basemaps for the whole world, for anyone to use, for any purpose. Long after other map providers went out of business, started requiring API keys, or charging for usage of their maps, we kept providing our maps for free. Why did we keep doing it, years after others...

Stamen at State of the Map

Alan McConchie | 06.07.23

This week, Stamen will be attending the State of the Map US conference in Richmond, Virginia! We’ve been attending these OpenStreetMap conferences (either the international State of the Map or this US-based version) for over a decade, and it’s always exciting to feel the energy of this lively community of open source mappers. The OpenStreetMap...

The charismatic megafauna of climate change maps

Alan McConchie | 04.27.23

In the latest episode of the Stamen Pollinate podcast, Stephanie May talked with cartographer Jeffrey Linn about his fascinating series of sea level rise maps and about the concept of “speculative cartography”. Maps that show familiar coastal cities flooded by water are viscerally terrifying and visually compelling, but as cartographers we often struggle with the...

Mapping the endangered California coast

Alan McConchie | 04.24.23

In preparation for Earth Day 2023, Stamen Design has been working with our old friend Al Ramadan to make an interactive map of the proposed West Cliff Recreation Area in the city of Santa Cruz, California.

A New Home for Field Papers

Alan McConchie | 03.28.23

By Jess Beutler (OpenStreetMap US) and Alan McConchie (Stamen Design)  OpenStreetMap US is excited to announce the adoption of Field Papers into the suite of tools we support for the larger OSM community. Over the course of 2023, Stamen and OpenStreetMap US will be working together on this transition and develop a plan for sustainable...

Pollinate Ep. 15- Tanya Ruka & Mapping Native Lands

Alan McConchie | 02.09.23

Cartography is a powerful tool for understanding the world and our place within it, but sometimes maps conceal more than they reveal. Throughout much of the history of cartography, maps have been used to forcibly claim territory and exploit the land, erasing the histories and claims of the people who lived there before. Native Land...

What is Full Stack Cartography?

Alan McConchie | 02.02.23

In a series of presentations and podcasts over the past year, Stamen cartographers Alan McConchie and Stephanie May have been exploring the world of contemporary online map making, and how Stamen Design has developed a uniquely collaborative way of working to build maps for a wide range of clients. In this short recorded conversation, we...