Simple map design tool from Stamen


The supremely creative design/data experimentalists at Stamen launched Map Stack, a fascinating and super-simple tool to design your own maps and cartographical mash-ups:

You can use it to combine custom cartography, colors, and satellite images into custom, easily modified maps.

We provide access to different parts of the map stack, like backgrounds, roads, labels, and satellite imagery. These can be modified using straightforward controls to change things like color, opacity, and brightness. So within a few minutes you can have a map of anywhere in the world with dark green parks and blue buildings. You can get very precise with image overlays and layer effects, using layers as cut-out masks for other layers. Or just make a regular-looking map in the colors you want.

Map Stack by Stamen


  1. “Map Stack is closed.
    Normally, the service operates Monday to Friday between 11am and 5pm Pacific Standard Time, or by appointment”


    1. Yeah, weird.  I’ve seen a couple of Jewish owned sites that close on the Sabbath, but keeping office hours (including a nice lie-in) is a new one. Are the maps drawn by hand the the background?

      1. I can think of two scenarios. Number one, they’re trying to conserve power (and hence money) by not powering up the server(s) during “off” hours.

        Number two, the app needs access to somebody else’s data and/or computing resources, and that organization has limited the times at which they can access it. Perhaps even for reasons that would make sense.

        1. It’s actually quite odd. They just look like renders based on their map tiles, which you can see here anyway:

          I guess the rendering must be done on someone’s local machine? Sounds a bit mad to me, but maybe I’m missing something.

  2. I am bewildered, but also kind of pleasantly shocked, at a website that has “office hours.”

    Is the server someone’s home computer?

    But the more I thought about it the cooler I thought it was. It’s made me more excited to come back in a couple hours when its open. Perhaps this is the feeling that people who like to buy things have towards popup shops?

    It suddenly makes the web feel like a real place with people with their own schedules, as opposed to the completely asynchronous world I normally experience.

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