Huxley Speaker Series 11/16/17: Alan McConchie: Open Source Cartography

Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 10:33am

Date: Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 4:00pm

Location: AW-204

Alan McConchie

Open Source Cartography: Blending Data and Design for the Next Generation of Online Maps

Stamen Design has spent the last sixteen years pushing the limits of what is possible with online cartography, creating innovative maps and visualizations to tell our clients' spatial stories. Using open source tools has made this possible, giving them an unparalleled level of creative control over design and functionality of their maps, and freedom from the conventions of traditional cartography. In recent years, open source tools have matured, becoming easier to use and more powerful, and opening exciting new frontiers of cartography. In this presentation, Alan will showcase past and current Stamen projects and talk about the use of an open source design process to help clients see their data with fresh eyes. He will also talk about how this approach extends to the cartographic tools they use in their work, where a careful mixture of expertise and naivety lets them break their our tools in interesting ways, pushing them to their limits and finding exciting new visualizations in the process.


Alan McConchie is the Lead Cartographer at Stamen Design, a mapping and data visualization studio in San Francisco. Alan has designed and built maps and data visualizations for clients such as Audubon Society, National Geographic, Facebook, and Pinterest. He has taught workshops for Stamen at the World Health Organization, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the California College of the Arts. He holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science & Mathematics and a master's degree in Geography from UBC. His work with Stamen has been shown at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and in the Istanbul Design Biennial. At Stamen, he co-founded Maptime, a series of beginner-focussed meetups for teaching about open source map-making. He currently lives in Bellingham, where he is the founder of Localgroup Studio, a coworking space for designers and creatives.


This talk is co-sponsored by the Wilson Map Collection and the Geography Club, as part of Geography Awareness Week.

GIS Day is Wednesday, Nov. 15th.


The Huxley Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment, at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:00 in the Academic Center West (AW-204) on the WWU campus in Bellingham, WA.

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