Cartographers Play Video Games – A Review of the Map in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

It’s been a year of ups and downs—quite literally if you’ve been playing The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (TotK) like we have. The long-awaited sequel to Breath of the Wild (BotW) was one of the top-rated games to release in 2023 and surpassed the seemingly impossible standard set by its predecessor. Last...

Helvetica is more than a font, it’s a state of mind

| 01.30.24

One of our biggest projects last year was an update of our classic basemap styles, working hard with our partners at Stadia to adapt these maps to modern infrastructure and keep them running for years to come. As of October 31, we completed the transition and all our basemap users are now using Stadia’s infrastructure....

The Data Visualization Discovery Phase Made Clear, Clear, Clear, in Business Language!

| 06.12.23

Mention the term “discovery phase” in a room full of product managers, analysts, executives, entrepreneurs, or developers, and you’re certain to garner myriad responses: everything from nods of agreement and appreciation to rolling eyes and exasperated sighs. In fact, in the design and development process of digital products, there’s perhaps no phase that is more...

Cartographers Play Video Games – A Review of the Map in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

At Stamen, our appreciation and opinions of maps go beyond just our professional work here and often bleed over into our personal interests as well. Our eye for interactivity, color palettes, contour lines, and labels doesn’t stop once we log off at the end of the day. As we covered in a previous post by...

Why Data Gaps Are Often the Missing Link for Data Stories

Researchers are quick to abandon data gaps or anomalies when creating data stories. Learn why digging into missing data helps you tell a more complete story.

Golden Ratio & Cartography; a talk at NACIS 2022

| 11.15.22

Last month I was lucky enough to give a talk at the North American Cartographic Information Society’s annual meeting in Minneapolis, about the golden ratio & how we apply it to our cartographic & data visualization practice at Stamen. The video recording of the talk is here, for those who prefer to watch and listen...

Shadows on maps are getting a lot more exciting, and here’s why

| 09.16.22

As cartographers, we want to make beautiful maps that grab our readers’ attention. Sometimes we wish our maps could jump out of the screen or off the page, and with a recent trend in cartography we’re starting to see more and more maps that seem to do just that.  New technology combined with high-resolution elevation...

Cartographers Play Video Games – A Review of the Map in Elden Ring

Elden Ring has been the buzz of the gaming world since its release in late February. As the latest title by From Software, it’s the studio’s first foray into an open-world role-playing concept for their extremely popular and infamously difficult games (typically referred to as Souls or Soulsborne games from two notable games in their catalog, Dark Souls and Bloodborne). It’s also the first of these games to include a map, which really excites us at a cartographer studio with some avid gamers.

Figmasset: reducing design friction while making map markers

| 09.20.21

When we’re rapidly iterating on creative map designs at Stamen, one source of friction is testing new map icons in a live map. Designers often have to resort to mock-ups of marker designs on a static map, which makes it hard to see how the icons really perform. Or we go through manual steps each...

The Election Ring Map sneaks into Ken Field’s new “Thematic Mapping” textbook

| 08.26.21

Last November, as part of Stamen’s 2020 roundup of presidential election maps (“We design maps for a living. Here’s who got the 2020 election right“) published in Fast Company, I sketched out the idea for a new kind of election map which I hadn’t seen implemented before. The map shows a colored ring for each...