blog/Cartography

Designing for all audiences: Mapping the future of food

| 02.29.24

Dealing with the occasional 100-year storm or drought are problems farmers have had to deal with for centuries, but what happens when those weather events become the norm? Climate change will test agriculture practices across the globe in ways humans can’t fully predict. Many country’s harvests are already feeling these effects and will continue to...

Manzanar UpClose In-Depth

| 02.08.24

As we mentioned recently, Stamen worked with Densho in 2023 to create Manzanar CloseUp, a map of the Manzanar concentration camp in California where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII. Where our previous work on Sites of Shame visualizes all of the camps that existed and the aggregated movement of individuals to and from camps,...

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....

Visualizing Japanese American Confinement with Densho

| 12.19.23

Back in 2021, Stamen began working with Densho, a nonprofit committed to documenting the oral histories of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated on American soil during WWII. Together, we worked to tell the stories of the 125,000 imprisoned individuals through a map-based visualization called Sites of Shame.  In 2023, we collaborated again to develop Manzanar...

Another #30DayMapChallenge!

| 12.14.23

We’ve just passed the most prolific time of the year for cartographers: the 30 Day Map Challenge! Every November, cartographers across the globe answer the call to create a map each day with a theme outlined by the organizer Topi Tjukanov. These themes cover everything from continents to data sources to concepts. People often added...

Stamen at NACIS 2023: A Recap of Creative Cartography and Community

| 11.06.23

The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) 2023 conference in Pittsburgh was a fantastic gathering of cartographers, mappers, and map enthusiasts. Stamen was well-represented this year by Kelsey Taylor, Eric Rodenbeck, and Ross Thorn. I’m developing a history with NACIS, having given my first talk there last year on cartography and the golden ratio, and...

Stamen x Stadia series: Terrain behind the scenes

| 10.17.23

When we started thinking about how to recreate Stamen’s iconic Toner and Terrain raster styles with vector data, Toner seemed like it would present the bigger challenge. Achieving the right hierarchy and visual balance of that style felt like a monumental task to me, an ardent admirer of Toner for many years. Terrain was less...

Stamen x Stadia: harnessing modern vector cartography

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

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

| 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...