Stamen is a design and technology studio in San Francisco.

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    Oct 19, 2015

    "Bohunk computer modeling"

    "It's just absurd, and it's all based on bogus, bohunk computer modeling. There's not one shred of scientific data," he said.

    Rush Limbaugh just called our recent sea level rise work with Climate Central "utterly preposterous."

    Bohunk? Because, you know, scientists are nerds and computer models so clearly don't work. We must be doing something right!

    Oct 15, 2015

    Toyota OnRamp Challenge starts tomorrow

    Bill is down in Mountain View at Hacker DoJo tonight for Toyota's OnRamp Challenge, which starts tomorrow and runs through Saturday. We're helping curate and visualize data for the duration of the project and helping contestants access the data that Toyota's provided. If you're into tech and mobility, the event should be right up your alley.

    Spots for test drives of this sustainable three-wheel compact vehicle are available this Friday and Saturday, if you want to consider joining the program. Sign ups for the program are available at

    Oct 6, 2015

    Toyota OnRamp 2015: Smart Mobility

    Here at Stamen we've been hard at work with the engineers and designers at Toyota on a new data visualization project, and we’re excited to start sharing the details.

    On Friday, November 13, we're helping to bring Toyota Onramp 2015 to San Francisco. Onramp will bring together great minds in Silicon Valley for a one-day, invitation-only event that will celebrate, explore and experience the future of driving and urban mobility. Innovators, investors and car enthusiasts will have the opportunity to test drive the Toyota i-Road, a sustainable three-wheel compact vehicle not yet available in the U.S., and the Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.

    A highlight of the event is the Smart Mobility Challenge, a contest open to the public that calls for innovators to help us think about how the Toyota i-Road can address urban planning and local sustainability needs in the Bay Area. Finalists will present their ideas to some of the Bay Area’s most notable thinkers on smart mobility, including Norwest Venture Partners’ Sergio Monsalve. The grand prize winner will win $15,000 and the opportunity to work with Toyota on the idea. At Stamen, we have been working closely with Toyota to analyze the data from an i-Road pilot run in Toyota City, and to visualize it so that contestants can better understand how the system could be rolled out in the Bay Area.

    We're also helping to manage the process by which the broader creative community participates in the Challenge; think Art + Data Day, but for cars. There's more information about Toyota Onramp 2015, including how to request to attend, at, and you can follow along on Twitter.

    Aug 31, 2015

    You Say Denali

    Mount McKinley, as of today, is now Denali. It's an important change, one that honors local indigenous names and draws attention to the very real threat of climate change impacting that part of the world, so we're glad to see President Obama stepping up to the challenge and calling attention to Alaska as a kind of climate change ground zero.

    I'm proud to announce that our own Alan McConchie gets the bragging rights for having made the change on OpenStreetMap:

    It's great to see community mapping respond so quickly to important events in the world., ahead of the big boys:

    Apr 27, 2015


    Cross-posted from

    Two days ago a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) sprang into action, coordinating mapping activities from remote mappers (read about how you can help) and working with open source mapping groups on the ground like Kathmandu Living Labs.

    One of the key components in any HOT activation is the humanitarian OSM style, hosted by OpenStreetMap France.

    Unfortunately, the humanitarian style doesn’t include terrain data, which would be very useful when mapping in remote mountainous areas such as the Himalayan foothills that make up the hardest-hit area in this recent earthquake.

    Using the SRTM 90m hillshade overlay that is the first outcome of our Open Terrain project, we created a composite style that adds hillshades to the existing humanitarian style. We’re calling this style humaniterrain.

    You can access the style at this URL:

    The XYZ template (for use in any online mapping library or GIS) looks like this: http://{s}{z}/{x}/{y}.png

    This is a very rough attempt to get something useful up and running as fast as possible. Let us know if you have any questions, via email at or on twitter at @stamen.

    Feb 26, 2015

    Taking Up Space: The Largest Leaseholders in San Francisco

    by Eric

    Ever wondered what companies are taking up the most space in San Francisco? Kalin Kelly, a director at boutique real estate firm CM Commercial, has been wondering the same thing and decided to take action to find out.

    Over the past few months, she’s been collecting all of the data she can find about leasing transactions in San Francisco. What she’s found is that the biggest real estate deals happening in the city (in terms of space) are mainly being done with technology companies, and that the lion’s share of it is happening along Market Street and into the Mission and Dogpatch. She predicts that the trend will continue south into the Mission.

    Is her prediction correct? Only time will tell. In the meantime, take a look at the map and see for yourself and read more about it in TechCrunch.

    Stamen founder and creative director Eric Rodenbeck has worked with Kalin Kelly as part of his work with the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST).

    Jan 13, 2015

    The Zachary Watson Memorial Education Fund

    by Eric

    Last year, our friend and colleague Zachary Watson tragically died in an accident at the age of 29, leaving many of us shocked and deeply saddened. In his memory and honor, a few current and former Stamens have set up an education fund. It's being administered by our friends and neighbors down the street at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts.

    Zach was a well-loved and much-respected member of our community, involved with and leading some of Stamen's most iconic work. He was a free and independent man, quirky and full of life, pursuing his varied interests with a fresh eye and a big smile. So in that spirit, each year on March 14 (Pi Day) one promising young creative coder will receive a $5,000 grant from Zach's fund to help further their education. The funds will be provided free and clear, and recipients may use the money for whatever they wish.

    You can donate to the fund if you like; we want to keep his memory alive through helping others like him. And if you'd like to apply, or know someone who would, please take a look here for directions.

    I saw a lot of myself in Zach. Among other things, we were both the kinds of young men that thought suits and mohawks went well together. He was a smart and talented and fun guy, and I miss him a lot.

    Donate or apply to the Zachary Watson Memorial Education Fund here.

    Dec 16, 2014

    Get a drink of open data with MapIsArt

    Just in time for your holiday gift buying rush, we're announcing today a new partnership with MapIsArt. They're a new company formed to take advantage of the increased availability and accuracy of OpenStreetMap data by offering custom map products based on our watercolor maps. We're starting off with a couple different custom products: canvas, table lamps, marble clocks, serving trays, and (drum roll please) table coasters, and there's more to come as things develop. But in the meantime, show your love for Stamen & OSM by heading over to MapIsArt for custom map goodies!

    Dec 1, 2014

    Introducing Positron & Dark Matter: New Basemap Styles for CartoDB

    By Beth & Seth

    Ready to make lovely maps using open source data on an open source platform? Two new basemap styles – Positron and Dark Matter – are available from mapping platform CartoDB, waiting for you to make your own beautiful visualizations.

    CartoDB already has a suite of styles to choose from, but some of the ones using OpenStreetMap data were only available at limited zoom levels. With our new styles, visualization possibilities await at all zooms, creating an opportunity for depth beyond what’s been possible before now.

    Throughout both maps we’ve made clear labeling for cities, parks, water bodies, and administrative boundaries. We’ve also worked out the relationships between line thickness and outlines for roads, railroads, rivers, and lakes across all zoom levels. Relative brightness of various features have been tweaked to create an appropriate hierarchy of importance at all zoom levels.

    And finally, we’ve given some extra special love to the CartoDB offices in Madrid and Brooklyn, and the Stamen office in San Francisco (only visible when you zoom all the way in).

    It’s been great working with CartoDB to make it easier for everyone to make data visualizations. Now we’re excited to see what you make with what we made together.

    Want to use these basemaps with Leaflet.js? Here's how:

    var layer = L.tileLayer('http://{s}{z}/{x}/{y}.png',{
      attribution: '© OpenStreetMap contributors, © CartoDB'
    var map ='map', {
        scrollWheelZoom: false,
        center: [40.7127837, -74.0059413],
        zoom: 6

    Let your data story sing!

    Nov 20, 2014

    Healthcare Variation: Location, Location, Location

    This week, the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF), a longtime Stamen client, released a completely redesigned and updated version of All Over the Map, a tool to help policymakers, health professionals, and concerned citizens discover variations in the prevalence of elective procedures across California.

    Why does such variation matter? Well, it turns out geography matters when it comes to whether or not a person gets a knee replacement or has a baby through induced labor. And location matters even when the data experts working with CHCF corrected for other factors, like age, race, socioeconomic status, and so on.

    Using this map, one can discover that, if you’re a pregnant woman in Gardenia, you are six times more likely to have an electively induced birth as if you lived in Napa.

    That’s a big difference!

    All Over the Map 2014 is the third version of this interface we’ve designed and built for CHCF, going back to 2011. The key change this year was, well, change. With two data periods available for many procedures, we had the opportunity to highlight not just outliers in one time period, but also how much certain areas have changed over time.

    For example, though Clearlake residents had the state’s highest rate of coronary angiography from 2005 to 2008, that rate dropped by 47% in 2009-12.

    Working closely with CHCF, we were able to create an interface that combines bold colors and simple bar charts with careful and refined interactions and subtle color gradations to bring beauty and subtlety to highly technical data. Color schemes and legends highlight outliers in the data, while thoroughly storing variables in the URL means that all states of the map are easily shareable.

    How does your home region fare on the map? Find out!

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