Stamen Design

Stamen is an internationally recognized data visualization design studio based in San Francisco, California. The studio develops projects for a broad range of clients, including National Geographic,[2] Facebook[3] and The Dalai Lama.[4]

Stamen Design
IndustryData visualization, Cartography, Interaction design, Software engineering, Web design
FoundedJanuary 1, 2001 (2001-01-01)
FounderEric Rodenbeck
United States
Area served
Number of employees


Stamen was founded in 2001 by Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen's CEO and Creative Director. In 2003 Michal Migurski joined Stamen as a partner, remaining until 2013. In 2006 Shawn Allen became the studio's third partner,[5] remaining until 2014. In 2014, UCLA professor and writer Jon Christensen joined Stamen as a partner and strategic advisor.[6]


In 2017 Stamen was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum to design and develop Big Glass Microphone,[7] an interactive, online visualization of the acoustic vibrations picked up by a fiber-optic cable buried beneath a road at Stanford University.

In 2016 Stamen designed an Atlas of Human Emotion[8] for Paul Ekman and The Dalai Lama. The New York Times[9] quoted Paul Ekman as saying “It is a visualization for what we think has been learned from scientific studies. It’s a transformative process, a work of explanation.”

In 2015 Stamen partnered with Hipcamp and GreenInfo Network[10] to develop CaliParks, a bilingual, statewide, parks search engine that brings together park boundary and management data in California with social media content from Instagram, Flickr, Twitter, and Foursquare.[11]

Stamen is the developer and maintainer of Field Papers,[12] an open source tool for humanitarian mapping that lets users annotate OpenStreetMap in areas without internet connectivity. Field Papers was supported by grants from USAID[13] and the Hewlett Foundation in conjunction with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.[14]

In 2014 Stamen designed new default basemaps for CartoDB, using OpenStreetMap data. These map tiles are available for unlimited use under a Creative Commons license.

Awards and grants

In 2017 Stamen won the National Design Award for Interaction Design, presented by Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.[15]

At the Information is Beautiful Awards in 2012, Stamen won the Gold Award for Data Journalism and the Most Beautiful award for its "Home & Away" project[16] for CNN.[17] In that year Stamen also won the Information is Beautiful "Best Studio" prize.[18]

In 2010, Stamen was awarded a US$400,000 grant from the Knight Foundation[19] to create a series of freely-available web maps based on OpenStreetMap data. The resulting map tiles (called Toner, Watercolor, and Terrain) are available for unlimited use under a Creative Commons license and are compatible with open source mapping libraries such as Leaflet and OpenLayers.[20] The service is widely used in mapping projects around the world.[21]

See also


McMillan, Sam (August 28, 2019). "Artificial Intelligence". Communications Arts. Menlo Park. Retrieved August 30, 2019.

Schwab, Katharine (June 1, 2017). "The Smart City Already Exists—Under Our Streets". Fast Company. New York, NY. Retrieved June 2, 2017.

Bliss, Laura (May 30, 2017). "Beneath a Bustling University Campus, a Big Cable Is Listening". The Atlantic CityLab. New York, NY. Retrieved June 2, 2017.

Anderton, Frances (May 17, 2017). "Stamen brings artistry to data visualization — and wins Cooper Hewitt Design Award". KCRW. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved June 2, 2017.

Hardy, Quentin (January 6, 2014). "A Makeover for Maps". New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved October 23, 2015.

"Finance: Nasdaq and the colour of money". Financial Times Magazine. July 26, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2015.

Madrigal, Alexis (June 10, 2013). "Stamen Design Reveals an Instagram for Maps: A Radical, Beautiful New Tool". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 23, 2015.

Dickey, Megan Rose (October 12, 2012). "Here's A Map To Silicon Valley's Cushy Private Buses". Business Insider. Retrieved October 23, 2015.

  1. "about Stamen". Stamen. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  2. The Dalai Lama
  3. "Stamen Design". IDFA Doclab. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  4. "Stamen Design Maps Out Expansion for Leadership in the Field of Data Visualization: Names Jon Christensen as Partner & Opens New Office in Los Angeles; Announces Groundbreaking Social Sense-Making, Environmental & Mass Media Projects". MarketWired. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  5. "Inner Peace? The Dalai Lama Made a Website for That". Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  6. "CaliParks". Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  7. Field Papers
  8. "New & Improved Field Papers!". Stamen Design. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  9. "Field Papers". Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  10. "2017 National Design Award Winners". Cooper Hewitt. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  12. "Information is Beautiful Awards – The Results!". Information is Beautiful. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  13. "Information is Beautiful Awards – The judges..." Information is Beautiful. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  14. Walker, Alyssa. "Stamen Design Wins a $400,000 Grant for New User-generated Data-viz Project". Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  15. "". Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  16. "The Wild and Wonderful World of". Retrieved 23 October 2015.
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