by Stamen Design
From Boom Summer 2014, Vol 4, No 2
Editor’s Note: Stamen Design, a studio specializing in live data visualizations and interactive mapping, overlooks the busy corner of Mission and Sixteenth Streets in San Francisco. Its mission: “Take ambiguous, obscure, complex data. Turn it into beautiful, engaging and accessible projects that delight and inform the public. Repeat.” Eric Rodenbeck, the studio’s founder, likes to say: “We build objects to think with.” Crimespotting—an interactive map of crimes in San Francisco and Oakland—was designed to lead by example and inspire local governments to make civic data public. And it has led to citizens printing out maps and taking them to police departments to ask for changes in neighborhood policing because the data shows what works and what does not. Parks.stamen.com visualizes the stories and images that pour out of parks, open spaces, and natural areas in the city and state. Surging Seas—a collaboration with Climate Central and New America Media—highlights what will be lost as rising sea levels take back land, put property underwater, and disproportionately displace different communities around the Bay Area, California, and worldwide. Creative Commons-license map tilesets—including the whimsical “Watercolor”—let people create their own map styles and imagine different ways of seeing the city.