Select Press & Recognition

'As coronavirus continues its inexorable spread across the United States, data visualization specialists and armchair designers alike are developing graphics to help readers make sense of it all. But not all graphics are created equal, and even the most well-intentioned designs can mislead the public and incite panic. So we asked six experts to identify the graphics that do the best job of telling an important story about coronavirus...The video’s emphasis that, “If people are sufficiently worried, then there’s a lot less to worry about” is the cleanest description of the need for social distancing I’ve read yet. —Eric Rodenbeck, creative director, Stamen' Fast Company, March 18, 2020

'In the future, machine learning may help overcome some of the major challenges of mapping data. “We’re talking with a group that’s using machine vision/machine learning to build models in California that will radically simplify the process of making statewide fire safety maps available quickly and at scale,” Rodenbeck says. “The idea is you ground truth conditions in a very few forest areas, and then you compare data from those few areas to their locations on up-to-date satellite imagery. . . . The MV/ML then quickly builds a model of conditions over the whole state, and this information is useful to fire managers, utility people, the public. It’s not 100% perfect but it’s often enough to point people in the right direction. And it keeps getting better as the models run.”' How maps tracking climate disasters fall short—and endanger lives Fast Company, February 4, 2020 

"There’s a simple reason birds are a great entry into understanding climate change, Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen’s founder and chief executive, says: “Birds are beautiful.” But they also reveal the geographic specificity of climate impacts. “My whole fascination is with traces left in the world by other parts of the world,” he told me. “A bird is like a vector you can trace.” They are, like climate change itself, physical instruction in the fact that we live on a planet. After all, the migratory birds chirping in your yard right now may have seen more of the Earth than you have. And so climate change, a malady of the entire planet, will harm birds as well.

"Climate change is notoriously hard to communicate, since it will alter the Earth in a million different ways all at once. “Survival by Degrees” does an unusually good job of revealing how one category of those changes will look in every place in North America. There’s nothing else like it online." A Field Guide for the Entire 21st Century December 26, 2019

"The basic expectation of storage technology is that you put bytes in and you get bytes back. But storage is more insightful than you might think...

"We on the GCP storage team wondered what the world map of those requests would look like. By exploring the planetary-level picture of our service, could we see patterns that would help us better serve our customers in the future? And, somewhat jokingly, we wondered if we could make boring old storage beautiful.

"So we worked with Stamen Design to take a week’s worth of our storage traffic data (aggregated and anonymized) and build a visualization that explores the interactions between users and the content stored in Google Cloud Storage. Here’s the process we used." Cloud Storage requests create data art and usage insights December 18, 2018

"The smart city is more than just a city that watches and listens. City dwellers are constantly generating data about themselves, down to the vibrations of their footsteps. Consider a project called Big Glass Microphone, by the California-based design consultancy Stamen. Big Glass Microphone turned the fiber-optic telecommunications infrastructure embedded beneath Stanford University into a terrestrial eavesdropping tool. Able to pick up seismic disturbances created by delivery trucks, passing cyclists, and even the footsteps of lone pedestrians, the campus’s fiber-optic network became an underground tool for monitoring events on the surface. It is an invisible burglar alarm underfoot." The City That Remembers Everything The Atlantic, February 23, 2018

"Rodenbeck is the founder of the graphics company Stamen Design LLC, which he started in 2001 so he could do the thing he’d dreamed about at Cooper Union: use patterns, numbers, and images to communicate big concepts. 'I had an appreciation for the pop culture nature of this as a mass-media format to do more than communicate a fact or two,' he says. Data visualization’s roots in technical disciplines such as computer programming have 'shackled it,' he says. 'I’ve always been interested in breaking free of those boundaries.'" You Have Eric Rodenbeck to Thank for All Those Sweet Infographics Bloomberg Business Week, September 19, 2017

"'When we start talking about smart cities and digital infrastructure … we are pointing to a future where there’s not just sensors everywhere, but the whole world and all of the infrastructure in it can be used as a sensor,' Rodenbeck said. 'What does privacy even mean when every place you go your individual gait is trackable or the specific weight of your car is trackable?'The Stamen team thinks even buildings can be used as sensors in the same way to pick up slight vibrations." Is the ground beneath the Stanford campus listening to you? San Jose Mercury News, July 22, 2017

"The tool is called Penny, and it’s billed as 'an AI to predict wealth from space.' Created by Stamen Design and Carnegie Mellon University, Penny uses high-resolution satellite imagery courtesy of GBDX (an analytics platform from DigitalGlobe) and neural networks trained on both census data and the imagery 'to learn which features in the satellite images are correlated with household income.'" Change a Neighborhood’s Poverty or Wealth With a Mouse Click NextCity, June 29, 2017

"Penny provides a glimpse at how AI and machine learning make sense of a city. 'It’s not for deciding whether to put a hedgerow in your yard, it’s to help us understand how machines make sense of our world,' says Jordan Winkler, the product manager for DigitalGlobe, the company that provided the imagery Penny uses. But he says Penny is mostly about getting people to think about how AI and machine learning actually work—or don’t." An AI that Predicts a Neighborhood's Wealth from Space Wired, June 28, 2017

"The project is called “Big Glass Microphone,” and it’s an interactive, online visualization of the acoustic vibrations picked up by a fiber-optic cable buried beneath a road at Stanford University. Normally used for earthquake detection, the three-mile cable inadvertently gathers other kinds of data, including the sound of objects moving above ground. Campus seismologists filter out those wavelengths, but Stamen Design, a San Francisco-based map design firm, joined with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to yank them out and map them." Beneath a Bustling University Campus, a Big Cable Is Listening CityLab, May 30, 2017

"New technologies generally produce new art forms. That’s certainly true of today’s mapping and data collection technologies. They’ve given rise to the medium of data visualization, or the visual depiction of data to render it comprehensible and accessible. One design company, Stamen, has elevated data visualization to an art form." Stamen brings artistry to data visualization — and wins Cooper Hewitt Design Award KCRW Design & Architecture, May 17, 2017

"The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced today that Stamen Design is the winner of the 2017 National Design Award for Interaction Design. The highly regarded award is given annually to an individual or firm for exceptional and exemplary work in the design of interactive digital products, environments, systems, and services. Stamen Design is an independent San Francisco-based studio, defining the field of data visualization, digital map-making, and strategic communications. The National Design Award acknowledges the studio for the diversity and breadth of its portfolio of bold, public and private sector projects, which translate information and data at the intersection of technology, storytelling, and design." Stamen Design Wins Prestigious Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's 2017 National Design Award For Interaction Design PR Newswire, May 5, 2017

"Over the coming months and years, data designers will undoubtably reckon with how they approach data in the next election. Indeed, the responsibility has never been greater. 'If there was ever a time that data visualization could see itself as removed from rough and tumble of politics,' says Rodenbeck, 'I think we’ve seen that rudely disavowed.'" Why we had no idea Trump would win, Fast Co Design, November 17, 2016

"With an interactive map featuring points of interest, profiles and events stretching from Mission Bay to Candlestick Point, the site is designed to 'serve as a hub for anyone interested in what's going on along the emerging southeastern waterfront ...  from the community members interested in attending the next neighborhood meeting, to the weekend kayaker looking for a place to launch their boat.'" Hoodline, November 5, 2016

"The Dalai Lama said he hoped the Atlas could be a tool for cultivating good in the world by defeating the bad within us. 'Ultimately, our emotion is the real troublemaker,' he said. “We have to know the nature of that enemy.'" The New York Times, May 6, 2016

"More than just a set of images, Atlas of Emotions is an interactive learning tool, guiding the user through each emotion, inviting him to explore and contemplate the nuances of each specific feeling." Scientific American, August 12, 2016

“Sound enlightening? That’s because the project was actually initiated by the Dalai Lama, who asked Paul Ekman to carry out the project. “In order to get to a state of calm, we need a map of the emotions,” the Dalai Lama said in a statement about the project.” CityLab, May 6, 2016

“The atlas is a mesmerizing work that employs color, shape, and movement to great effect.” The Week, May 16, 2016

“A compelling new data visualization commissioned by the Dalai Lama” FastCompany, May 13, 2016

“Ever wondered how your emotions interact or what they give rise to? This visualization, called The Atlas of Emotions, combines experimental psychology and insight from the Dalai Lama to try and explain,” Gizmodo, May 11 2016

“Emotions are complex and only partially understood, yet such a force in how we live our lives. The Atlas of Emotions, produced by Stamen Design, shows what we know about these things, based on research and conversations between the Dalai Lama and psychologists Paul and Eve Ekman.” FlowingData, May 11, 2016

“The Dalai Lama, a.k.a. His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, is trying to demystify emotion with his new website, The Atlas of Emotions, a collaboration between him and psychologist Paul Ekman built by Stamen Design to help people more fully understand the complex workings of their emotions – and how this informs their behavior.” People Magazine, May 10, 2016

“It’s pretty awesome to know that schadenfreude, or the enjoyment of the misfortunes of another person, like a rival, is actually a state of enjoyment.” Tech Times, May 10, 2016

“The interactive online the Dalai Lama’s way of encouraging people around the globe to get more in touch with their emotions, which he believes will help bring world peace.” The Huffington Post, May 9, 2016

“A stunning data visualization project” New York Times, December 18, 2015

“The addition of even the simplest interactions can make it feel as though you’re looking at history with a very powerful magnifying glass in hand—and that’s a very cool thing.” Wired Magazine, January 7, 2016

“These are not the simple animated maps or hover-over statistical visualizations to which Internet trawlers are by now so accustomed. The Panorama’s plates are dense, like entire textbook chapters turned interactive tools.” CityLab, Dec 15, 2015

“Panorama is a completely digital atlas, not just one converted to the form.” Smithsonian Magazine, December 31, 2015

“These maps have depth. Adding a layers of technology and interactivity to an otherwise daunting trove of data helps us make connections we might otherwise miss.” Wired, January 7, 2016

“While the debate over Syrian refugees rages and Donald Trump gushes over plans for his massive wall along the Mexican border, the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab created this detailed reminder of America’s colorful history as a nation of immigrants.” MarketWatch, December 16, 2015

“This is data storytelling at its very finest” Gizmodo, December 15, 2015

. “They couple geographic data with personal stories that lend an important context, which tends to get lost as with time.” Flowing Data, December 29, 2015

“ riting about thousands or even millions of people moving around over the course of years and decades can often devolve into an abstract swirl of numbers, states, regions, and dates. American Panorama makes that swirl intelligible.” Cameron Blevins, March 29, 2016

“But Mr. Nelson and Mr. Ayers don’t want to reach only scholars. As co-­editors of the atlas...they believe American Panorama can reach a wide audience. Judging by the early response, they’re right.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 10, 2016

Rush Limbaugh: "It's just absurd, and it's all based on bogus, bohunk computer modeling. There's not one shred of scientific data." Mollie Riley, Huffington Post, 14 October 2015.

Christopher Simmons. "New 'CaliParks' Social Media App Helps Californians Discover Calif. Parks, Plan Trips, Share Experiences" California Newswire, 10 February 2015.

Kim-Mai Cutler. "Watch Tech's Takeover of San Francisco's Office Space In This Visualization," TechCrunch, 25 February 2015.

Sarah Goodyear. "Exploring California's 12,000 Parks With Open Data," The Atlantic-CityLab, 9 February 2015.

“Stamen Design Maps Out Expansion for Leadership in the Field of Data Visualization: Names Jon Christensen as Partner & Opens New Office in Los Angeles; Announces Groundbreaking Social Sense-Making, Environmental & Mass Media Projects.” Internet Wire, 2014.

Bernadette Tansey. “Stamen Design and the ‘Hippie Geeks’ of Data Visualization,” Xconomy, 14 October, 2014.

“Eric Rodenbeck & Quentin Hardy in conversation with Andrew McClintock,” SFAQ, Iss. 16, 2014.

Margaret Rhodes. “A Dead-Simple Tool That Lets Anyone Create Interactive Maps,” Wired Magazine, 15 July 2014.

Quentin Hardy. “As the World Fills with Data, the Plain-Vanilla Pie Chart No Longer Suffices.” International New York Times. 2014.

Ryan Tate. “Watch Bitcoin become a Financial Battlefield in these Amazing Charts,” Wired Magazine, March 27, 2014.

Tim Fernholz. “Four Types of People You’ll Meet at the Bitcoin Market,” QZ, March 24, 2014.

Quentin Hardy. "A Makeover for Maps," New York Times, 6 January 2014.

Kiera Butler. “Google’s Magic Bus.” Mother Jones, 2014.

Andreas Markdalen. “Mapping the Future.” Computer Arts, no. 228 (2014).

Andreas Markdalen. “Big Data Mining.” Computer Arts, no. 228 (2014).

"How the Robots Lost: High-Frequency Trading's Rise and Fall," BusinessWeek, 6 June, 2013.

“San Francisco: The Epicenter of Visual Storytelling,” KQED, 20 May, 2013.

“Stamen Design's Eric Rodenbeck on Leading Creativity,” Businessweek, Jan. 24, 2013.

“The Most Amazing, Beautiful and Viral Maps of the Year,” Wired MapLab, 27 December, 2013.

“Designers on What They Would Redesign,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Innovation & Design, 24 January, 2013.

Alexis Madrigal. “Stamen Design Reveals an Instagram for Maps,” The Atlantic, 10 June, 2013.

“Finance: Nasdaq and the colour of money,” Financial Times, 26 July, 2013

“Minnesota Cities in Watercolor,” Minnesota Public Radio, 6 April 2013.

Grabar, Hentry. “2012’s Year in Maps,” The Atlantic, 20 December 2012.

Angus Montgomery. “The Most Beautiful Information,” Design Week Online, 2012.

Geoffrey Fowler. “Map Reveals Corporate Bus Routes Tech Workers Take,” The Wall Street Journal, 10 October 2012.

“The 2012 Innovation by Design Awards,” Fast Company, October 2012.

"Beautiful visualisation tool transforms maps into works of art: Introducing Stamen maps, cartography with aesthetics at its heart," The Guardian, April 2012.

Ari Messer. “Stamen Maps the World,” Icon Magazine, Issue 109. (cover story)

Evelyn Rusli. “Attack of the Tweets: MTV’s Movie Awards Twitter Visualization Graph,” TechCrunch, 6 June 2012.

Megan Rose Dickey. “Here's A Map To Silicon Valley's Cushy Private Buses,” Business Insider, 12 October 2012.

Natasha Singer, “When Data Struts Its Stuff,” New York Times, 2 April 2011.

Helen Purchase, Andrew Vande Moere, and K.U Leuven. “On the Role of Design in Information Visualization.” Information Visualization 10, no. 4 (2011).

“Voxpop - What Is Your Favourite Piece of Data Visualisation?” Design Week Online, 2011.

“The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies,” Fast Company, 2011.

Julia Serazio, “Beautiful and Useful”, The Next American City, 2011.

“The open society: Governments are letting in the light,” The Economist, 25 February 2010.

Nick Bilton. “A Visual Tool to Track Olympic Tweets,” New York Times, 19 February 2010.

“Eric Rodenbeck, Founder/Creative Director, Stamen Design.” Venture, 2010.

Kunar Patel. “Creativity 50,” Advertising Age, 5 March 2010.

“Stamen Design Wins a $400,000 Grant for New User-Generated Data-Viz Project,” Fast Company, 23 June 2010.

“20 Designers who are already changing the way we work and think,” Icon Magazine, April 2009.

Bobbie Johnson. “San Francisco, the city that’s open for data,” The Guardian, 14 October 2009.

Sam McMillan. “Design Flowers at Stamen,” Communication Arts, Issue 370, September/October 2009.

Steve Mollman. “When it comes to making data sexy, you can’t be too graphic,” CNN, 12 November 2009.

“MTV;, Radian6 and Stamen Bring Real-Time Online Buzz Via Twitter to Live TV for the ‘2009 MTV Video Music Awards,’” Science Letter, 2009.

Garrick Schmitt. “How Data Visualization Is Changing Online Storytelling.” Advertising Age 80, no. 10, 2009.

“Design Flowers at Stamen.” Communication Arts, 2009.

Ashlock, Jesse. “Stamen,” I.D. (USA), 2009.

Kite, Buddy. “The New Cartographers: Four Innovative Mapmakers Who Are Helping to Reinvent the Scope, the Purpose, and the Very Idea of Maps.” Esquire, 2008.

Reena Jana. “Web Design Case Study: Data Visualization,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek Innovation & Design, June 23, 2008.

Scott Timberg. “ARTS NOTES; Mapping the City, One Taxi at a Time,” Los Angeles Times, 2006.

Dan Hill, Alastair Townsend, Matthew Claudel, Tim Stonor, Léan Doody, Eric Rodenbeck, et al. “Data-Driven Cities.” A + U: Architecture and Urbanism, no. 11(530), 2014.

Eric Rodenbeck, “Mapping Silicon Valley’s Gentrification Problem Through Corporate Shuttle Routes”, Wired Magazine, 6 September 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck. “How Dotspotting Began with Colored Dots on Drains in San Francisco.” PBS MediaShift Idea Lab. 15 March, 2011.

Paola Antonelli and Kate Carmody (eds). "Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects." Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. 2011.

Eric Rodenbeck. “Exuberant Cartography.” in 16th Annual California GIS Conference (CalGIS 2010), 2010.

Michal Migurski and Tom Carden. “Oakland Crimespotting.” in ACM SIGGRAPH 2009 Art Gallery, 2009.

Paola Antonelli and Patricia J. Vecchierini (eds). Design and the Elastic Mind. Museum of Modern Art, 2008.

Eric Rodenbeck and Cassidy Curtis. “Graffiti Archaeology.” in ACM SIGGRAPH 2004 Web Graphics, 2004.

R. Klanten, H. Hellige, M. Mischler, V. Tiegelkamp & J.R. Hillmann (eds). 72-dpi. DGV, Berlin. 2000.

Awards & Recognition

Information is Beautiful Awards. CNN Home and Away.
Gold in Data Journalism ($1,000); Ultimate Award, Most Beautiful ($5,000).

Fast Company, Innovation by Design Awards. Watercolor by StamenFinalist, 2-D Design.

Fast Company, 50 Most Innovative Companies. Overall rank: #48 Stamen Design Design Category: #1 Stamen Design

Nike Grid: Run Your City project with AKQA

  • Media Guardian Innovation Awards - Winner

  • Campaign BIG Awards - Silver: Campaign

  • Campaign BIG Awards - Silver: Integrated

  • New York Festivals - Bronze World Medal

  • D&AD - Shortlist: Integrated Digital Campaigns

  • D&AD - Shortlist: Digital Design

  • Cannes Cyber Lions - Shortlist: Games

  • Cannes Promo Lions - Shortlist: Best Use of Digital Media

  • One Show Interactive - Merit: Environmental/ Experiential

  • The Webby Awards - Shortlist: Interactive Advertising

  • Creative Review Annual - In Book

  • Revolution Awards - Shortlist: Best Use of Consumer Engagement

Invited Lectures

Eric Rodenbeck, Harvard College, October 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck,Columbia University School of Architecture, October 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck, South by South West Eco, October 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck, Texas State University Communication Design School, October 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck, California College for the Arts, 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck, Featured in Hot 20, 7x7 Magazine, October 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck, Host, OpenCo/SF Innovation Month, October 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck, Keynote Speaker, The Business of APIs, September 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck, "Visualization: From Data to Discovery," NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck, Arts Center College for Design, 2013.

Eric Rodenbeck. Streams, Gardens, and Clouds: A Data Visualization Symposium. Conducted from Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA. 24 January 2013.

Michal Migurski, Eric Rodenbeck. Storytelling in the Era of Big Data. Code for America: Big Data for the Public Good. Code for America, San Francisco, CA. 23 January 2012.

Eric Rodenbeck. Mixing Data to Uncover New Insights into How We Live. TEDxSilicon Valley, 14 March 2011.

Michal Migurski. Visual Urban Data: A Journey Through Oakland Crimespotting. Technology Training for Reporters Workshop. UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley, CA. 16 April, 2008.

Eric Rodenbeck. Rich Data Visualization. Lift Asia 2008. Jeju Island, Korea. September, 2008.

Eric Rodenbeck. Beyond the Web We Know. The Commonwealth Club of California. 12 November, 2008.

Eric Rodenbeck and Tom Carden. ETech: Live, Vast, and Deep: Web-native Information Visualization. Marina Ballroom, San Diego, CA. 3 March, 2008

Eric Rodenbeck. ETech: Information Visualization is a Medium. Marina Ballroom, San Diego, CA. 4 March, 2008.

Eric Rodenbeck. Nextcity: The Art of the Possible. New Museum, New York, NY. 8 February 2007.

“Mapmaker Manifesto,” Istanbul Design Biennial.

“Trees, Cabs, and Crime,” U.S. Pavilion. Venice Biennale.

“The City From The Valley,” Zero1 Silicon Valley Biennial.

“Prettymaps + Walking Papers,” Talk to Me: Design and the Communication Between People and Objects. Museum of Modern Art.

“Walking Papers,” Hyperlinks. Art Institute of Chicago.

“Tenderloin Dynamic,” GAFFTA Inaugural Exhibition. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts

“Cabspotting,” Design and the Elastic Mind. Museum of Modern Art.