Alan McConchie works at the intersection of cartography, software, and data visualization. He has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Mathematics, studied Geographic Information Systems at Hunter College in New York, and has a graduate degree in Geography from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In his dissertation research he studied OpenStreetMap as way to understand the social dynamics of crowdsourced mapmaking online.
Alan loves making cartographic visualizations that reveal new ways of seeing the world, and is passionate about creating tools that help people create their own maps and tell their own spatial stories. At Stamen, he co-founded Maptime, a series of beginner-focussed meetups for teaching about open source mapmaking. Alan currently sits on Maptime’s board of directors, which supports over 70 local chapters around the world.
He is based in Bellingham, Washington, the City of Subdued Excitement, where he runs a design-focused co-working space called Localgroup Studio. In his spare time he is active on affordable housing issues with the Bellingham Cooperative Housing Resource Center and is co-founder of the electoral reform group FairVote Washington.
His first and (so far) most famous programming project is the Pop vs Soda page, an amateur linguistic geography survey that maps the words people use to describe carbonated beverages.