For the map critique assignment, I’d like to propose some additions to the collection (or “atlas”) of mapping projects. I am inspired by some of the work developed by Stamen, a group of designers that are telling stories out of data.  These “digital storytellers” create visually impactful experiences that, in most cases, invite for a continuing discovery process.
Some of their mapping platforms include:

  • The Graffiti Archaeology project is a collage, made of photos of San Francisco graffiti taken by numerous photographers since 1998. Stamen built the skeleton that lets viewers explore the contested space of this visual urban landscape over time.
  • Trace is a platform that maps the digital signals that overlay urban landscapes. Holding wirelessly enabled devices, people walking around a city move through overlapping wireless networks, both public and private. Trace measures and displays the relative strength and density of these networks over time. – This might be relevant for Marie-France’s project.
  • Visualization of GPS data generated by Yellow Cab cabs in San Francisco.
  • Crimespotting is an interactive map of crimes in San Francisco and Oakland, and a tool for understanding crime in cities.
  • A visual browsing tool featuring more than 3,500 objects from the SF MOMA artscope collection.
  • A mapping of coalition casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan called Home and Away and live on CNN.com.
  • Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens' media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society. The project seeks to aggregate, curate, and amplify the global conversation online - shining light on places and people other media often ignore. Stamen built the maps that indicate where blogs are being published in the world, and one of a short list of early applications for the Modest Maps open-source map tiling library.
  • The map for the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic games.
  • A flickr browser that collects member videos and display them according to the time they were taken – This might be a good example of mapping “time” as opposed to “space”.
  • A historical hurricane browser and an interactive hurricane tracker.

Stamen has also developed some mapping tools we may want to explore, including:

  • Polymaps is a free library for making dynamic, interactive maps.
  • Prettymaps is an interactive map composed of multiple freely available, community-generated data sources, and a new way to think about what kind of information can be delivered using maps.
  • OpenStreetMap is a wiki-style map of the world that anyone can edit. “In some places, participants are creating the first freely available maps by GPS survey. In other places, such as the United States, basic roads exist, but lack local detail: locations of traffic signals, ATMs, cafés, schools, parks, and shops. What such partially mapped places need is not more GPS traces, but additional knowledge about what exists on and around the street. Walking Papers is made to help people easily create printed maps, mark them with things they know, and then share that knowledge with OpenStreetMap” (How it works: Print maps, draw on them, scan them back in and help OpenStreetMap improve its coverage of local points of interests and street detail).

Do you find that any of the above examples both (1) pertain to the critical issues raised in past week’s readings and (2) raise practical questions that we’ll need to address as we create our own projects?

Best,

Ariana