Stamen is a design and technology studio in San Francisco.

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We've been designing and building maps and data visualizations in San Francisco's Mission District for happy clients since 2001. Stamen is a 100% independently owned and operated company.

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Read more about the studio, catch up on the latest at our blog, follow us on twitter, or subscribe to an RSS feed for updates.


“I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and I find it hard to believe.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

Since 2002, Stamen has been exploring online cartography in our client and research work. Maps are among the most easily accessible kinds of data visualization—put a point on a map, the bigger the dot, the more stuff that’s there, and you're done. They often suggest other kinds of displays, and can serve as a useful jumping off point for deeper conversations.

Stamen has created many and varied mappish projects over the years, many of which also include custom cartography.

Way back when, we began our studies of maps close to home, with an exploration of the data-rich intersection where our studio is located, at 16thandmission in San Francisco.

16th & Mission

Our first live map-based projects were produced for political action group 50,000 people came together in realtime in an online map-based visualization:

After the successful launch of a virtual town hall in 2004, we adapted what we had learned about geolocation to the recently-launched Flickr programming API, exploring the potential of automatically-geolocated photography in anticipation of ubiquitous GPS.


NARAL’s March on Washington tracked a quarter of a million participants, & gave them tools to share their experiences with one another via the map:

Pro Choice America

In 2006, we began working Exploratorium on a live GPS tracker, which tracks the positions of taxicabs in San Francisco. The resulting project, Cabspotting, continues to develop under the Exploratorium's Invisible Dynamics program.


Our mapping work with online real estate giant Trulia focuses on the growth of cities in the United States, animating the results over time in a giant browsable framework.


Working a British NGO, MySociety we built a map to help people explore a combination of median house prices and travel time around London. The interface for this project was based around exploring, not searching. The UI provided sliders for both datasets that affected the map display.

MySociety Travel Time Maps

Track hurricanes across the globe and over time! Built with MSNBC's Paige West to track major storms, the hurricane tracker uses Modest Maps and Microsoft's excellent Virtual Earth tiles.

MSNBC Hurricane Tracker

We created custom cartography for the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to display a map for the London 2012 Olympics to show News, Venues, Events and other geo-located information about the Games.


Location-based platform Cloudmade asked us to develop three map styles for use in their new map styles editor, to "beat Google Maps fatigue." Using Cascadenik, we developed three styles: Fresh, Pale Dawn (below), and Midnight Commander.

Cloudmade Map Styles

We created an overlay to Oakland crime data to literally show crime hotspots on a map. Yellow means crime happened here most recently.

Oakland Crime Heat Maps

It turns out an interactive map is a great way to explore real estate listings. Ongoing work with Trulia, the "Snapshot" gives home buyers (or tire kickers) a fresh way to browse houses for sale in your area by price, or age of listing.

Trulia Snapshot

In what we believe is the first application designed for use via in-flight wifi, Mondo Window allows passengers (and anyone else with a flight number) to find out what they're looking at out the window.

Mondo Window

A sobering look at coalition casualties who died in Iraq and Afghanistan for CNN.

Home and Away, CNN

If you hear sirens in your neighborhood, you should know why. Crimespotting makes this possible with interactive maps, e-mail updates, and RSS feeds of crimes in areas that you care about. There's also a Crimespotting map for San Francisco.

Oakland Crimespotting

A game for kids set in the streets of London that uses phone boxes as goal posts? Working with AKQA, W + K and Google Maps. The background maps are a custom tileset designed by Geraldine using data from Open Street Map, generated using Tile Stache.

Nike Grid

In 2010, Stamen was awarded a Knight News Challenge grant to work on Citytracking, a project to change the way people view, talk about, utilize digital city services, and improve their urban lives. As the first major Citytracking release, Dotspotting helps people who don't work every day with maps put their geotagged data on a map.


prettymaps is an experimental interactive map composed of multiple freely available, community-generated data sources: Flickr shapefiles, Natural Earth and OpenStreetMap. It was featured in the 2011 Talk To Me exhibition at the MoMA in New York.


AirBnB, the online service to help find a place to stay that isn't a hotel, has experienced explosive growth since its launch in September 2008. We created these visualizations of rentals over time for their Global Growth report.

AirBnb screen grab

By combining migration data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with route information from MapQuest Open, we were able to show population movement alongside income flow, resulting in thousands of different images of the 48 contiguous US States for Esquire Magazine.

Check out our custom cartography projects, for CC-licensed Watercolor, Toner or Terrain maps, or visit the Citytracking blog for more geo-info.