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New stamen.com, and hi Medium!

Wed, 16 Dec 2015 15:06:14 -0500

Well, it’s been a lovely 8 years, 10 months, and 3 days blogging at content.stamen.com, but as of today we’re switching over to publishing on Medium at https://hi.stamen.com/. 3224 days is a long time and the web has (obviously) evolved tremendously since then, so we’re happy to dive head first, again! into a new way of telling stories. Look for contributions from many Stamens here.

I’m also thrilled to announce a complete overhaul of stamen.com. It’s literally the hardest thing for a web design company to do: redesign its own web presence. The cobbler’s children have no shoes, as the saying goes.

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See you around.




Connecting environmental stories worldwide

Fri, 04 Dec 2015 20:28:54 -0500

The Earth Journalism Network, a project of Internews, has been working in geo-journalism for years. They stand out as leaders in using geo-spatial info to tell human stories. Because they are part of Internews, these stories cover crucial environmental, climatic, and political topics often for under-represented global voices. And their GeoJournalism team has also created a toolkit for journalists to use geospatialtools. They even train journalists to use our Field Papers project, which we think is pretty cool.

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We’ve been working with EJN to merge these GeoJournalism projects into one global site, Open Earth. By putting all of these local stories from around the world together, it connects them into global narratives and patterns. Open Earth lets users explore all of EJN’s geolocated stories. The stories link back to their local sites, acting as a hub for stories worldwide about climate change, environmental impacts, urbanization, and global development. And the site will grow over time as more GeoJournalism regions pop up around the world.

Open Earth is launching this weekend at COP21, the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris. The Earth Journalism Network is in full force at the event, with 40 journalists from all over the world reporting on climate vulnerability in their home towns, from Arctic melt to Himalayan drought. EJN will feature these stories on Open Earth, when they unveil it this weekend at the Global Landscape Forum.

Of course, this is just the beginning. Open Earth is also building partnerships with organizations to add open climate data to the site. We'll be working with EJN moving forward to design this interface between personal stories and global climate data. More on that soon, & stay tuned to our Twitter feed for updates if you’re interested.




Maps + algorithms to bring infrastructure and services to urban slums worldwide

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:15:47 -0500

In the developed world, we take it for granted that every home or place of work has access to basic infrastructure and services. This includes clean water, electricity, sanitation, and access for emergency vehicles in case of need. But this is far from being the rule in many developing cities. It’s a particularly stark challenge in informal settlements or slums, home to more than 1 billion people around the world.

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This year, Stamen has been working with the Santa Fe Institute and UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design for Slum Dwellers International to create Open Reblock, a public interface for their innovative research to develop better planning and development tools for informal settlements. The result is a publicly available tool at http://openreblock.org. It takes maps of existing buildings and roads or paths and uses a sophisticated algorithm to create a map showing how city infrastructure and services can be brought to informal settlements with the least disruption for existing communities and their residents.

Informal settlements are part of cities worldwide, and they’re growing rapidly. Some demographers estimate that virtually all of the population growth on the planet in this century will effectively be absorbed by informal settlements. A single city “block” in informal settlements can have hundreds of residences, most without direct street access. It’s difficult to provide services, roads, water, and sewage, in these situations. One reason often cited for either doing nothing or for the demolition and redevelopment of these settlements is their lack of easy access for infrastructure and services. Open Reblock provides an alternative — a way forward for integrating services in existing informal settlements, respecting these communities, while helping them gain access to essential services. It does this by generating maps to connect as many parcels as possible — up to all of the parcels — in a block to roads and utilities.

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This project builds on our history of working with organizations to create accessible mapping tools. Stamen has a strong interest in enabling digital platforms for engaging cities and humanitarian mapping. FieldPapers is used worldwide by NGOS and community organizations to connect offline and analog mapping efforts to OpenStreetMap. Our work for organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and Climate Central bring big environmental issues down to a human scale, to shape conversations around conservation, climate policy, and the needs of people in cities worldwide.

Our continued contributions to and involvement in the open-source community is a company ethos. We believe that open and transparent data and mapping systems are good for the world. And they’re also good for business. We can’t wait to see how communities use this new Open Reblock tool, and the results of having access to this innovative use of open, algorithmic planning strategies!


Media Files:
http://content.stamen.com/files/open-reblock-1.png




"Bohunk computer modeling"

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 17:01:34 -0400

"It's just absurd, and it's all based on bogus, bohunk computer modeling. There's not one shred of scientific data," he said.

Rush Limbaugh just called our recent sea level rise work with Climate Central "utterly preposterous."

Bohunk? Because, you know, scientists are nerds and computer models so clearly don't work. We must be doing something right!




Toyota OnRamp Challenge starts tomorrow

Thu, 15 Oct 2015 21:30:06 -0400

Bill is down in Mountain View at Hacker DoJo tonight for Toyota's OnRamp Challenge, which starts tomorrow and runs through Saturday. We're helping curate and visualize data for the duration of the project and helping contestants access the data that Toyota's provided. If you're into tech and mobility, the event should be right up your alley.

Spots for test drives of this sustainable three-wheel compact vehicle are available this Friday and Saturday, if you want to consider joining the program. Sign ups for the program are available at http://toyotaonramp.com/.

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Toyota OnRamp 2015: Smart Mobility

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:37:08 -0400

Here at Stamen we've been hard at work with the engineers and designers at Toyota on a new data visualization project, and we’re excited to start sharing the details.

On Friday, November 13, we're helping to bring Toyota Onramp 2015 to San Francisco. Onramp will bring together great minds in Silicon Valley for a one-day, invitation-only event that will celebrate, explore and experience the future of driving and urban mobility. Innovators, investors and car enthusiasts will have the opportunity to test drive the Toyota i-Road, a sustainable three-wheel compact vehicle not yet available in the U.S., and the Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.

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A highlight of the event is the Smart Mobility Challenge, a contest open to the public that calls for innovators to help us think about how the Toyota i-Road can address urban planning and local sustainability needs in the Bay Area. Finalists will present their ideas to some of the Bay Area’s most notable thinkers on smart mobility, including Norwest Venture Partners’ Sergio Monsalve. The grand prize winner will win $15,000 and the opportunity to work with Toyota on the idea. At Stamen, we have been working closely with Toyota to analyze the data from an i-Road pilot run in Toyota City, and to visualize it so that contestants can better understand how the system could be rolled out in the Bay Area.

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We're also helping to manage the process by which the broader creative community participates in the Challenge; think Art + Data Day, but for cars. There's more information about Toyota Onramp 2015, including how to request to attend, at ToyotaOnramp.com, and you can follow along on Twitter.

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You Say Denali

Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:23:50 -0400

Mount McKinley, as of today, is now Denali. It's an important change, one that honors local indigenous names and draws attention to the very real threat of climate change impacting that part of the world, so we're glad to see President Obama stepping up to the challenge and calling attention to Alaska as a kind of climate change ground zero.

I'm proud to announce that our own Alan McConchie gets the bragging rights for having made the change on OpenStreetMap:

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It's great to see community mapping respond so quickly to important events in the world., ahead of the big boys:


Media Files:
http://content.stamen.com/files/denali.png




Humaniterrain

Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:25:18 -0400

Cross-posted from http://openterrain.tumblr.com/

Two days ago a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) sprang into action, coordinating mapping activities from remote mappers (read about how you can help) and working with open source mapping groups on the ground like Kathmandu Living Labs.

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One of the key components in any HOT activation is the humanitarian OSM style, hosted by OpenStreetMap France.

Unfortunately, the humanitarian style doesn’t include terrain data, which would be very useful when mapping in remote mountainous areas such as the Himalayan foothills that make up the hardest-hit area in this recent earthquake.

Using the SRTM 90m hillshade overlay that is the first outcome of our Open Terrain project, we created a composite style that adds hillshades to the existing humanitarian style. We’re calling this style humaniterrain.

You can access the style at this URL: http://tiles.openterrain.org/?humaniterrain#9/27.8403/84.9133.

The XYZ template (for use in any online mapping library or GIS) looks like this: http://{s}.tiles.openterrain.org/humaniterrain/{z}/{x}/{y}.png

This is a very rough attempt to get something useful up and running as fast as possible. Let us know if you have any questions, via email at openterrain@stamen.com or on twitter at @stamen.




Taking Up Space: The Largest Leaseholders in San Francisco

Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:14:18 -0500

by Eric

Ever wondered what companies are taking up the most space in San Francisco? Kalin Kelly, a director at boutique real estate firm CM Commercial, has been wondering the same thing and decided to take action to find out.

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Over the past few months, she’s been collecting all of the data she can find about leasing transactions in San Francisco. What she’s found is that the biggest real estate deals happening in the city (in terms of space) are mainly being done with technology companies, and that the lion’s share of it is happening along Market Street and into the Mission and Dogpatch. She predicts that the trend will continue south into the Mission.

Is her prediction correct? Only time will tell. In the meantime, take a look at the map and see for yourself and read more about it in TechCrunch.

Stamen founder and creative director Eric Rodenbeck has worked with Kalin Kelly as part of his work with the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST).


Media Files:
http://content.stamen.com/files/sf-tech.jpg




CaliParks.org: Helping people find parks, and parks find people

Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:37:38 -0500

By Dan Today we launched CaliParks.org for the state’s Parks Forward Commission. CaliParks.org is the first statewide parks search engine that brings together expert-level park boundary and management data with social media content from Instagram, Flickr, Twitter, and Foursquare. Our mission was to create a statewide search engine for parks that would show you information about parks regardless of agency, so you don’t have to know (or care) who runs the park you want to visit. You just want to know where it is, what you can do there, and how to get there. With the definitive California Protected Areas Database (calands.org), CaliParks.org can tell you exactly which of the state’s 11,826 public parks are near you. With activities data from Hipcamp.com and GreenInfo.org, CaliParks.org will help you find out where you can do your favorite activities, from rock climbing to shooting hoops. And you can see what people are doing in those parks from photos contributed by more than half-a-million people, updated from Instagram and Flickr daily. Counts of Tweets and Foursquare check-ins within the parks give a sense of overall popularity and use. Tabulating those numbers in recent weeks reaffirmed a core tenet of this project: Parks are social. And diverse Californians will see themselves in parks. We know because we see them on social media. And showing that creates an invitation to share these public spaces. Indeed, the fundamental design principle for this project is that open data and social media can come together to create deeply useful tools to help people get out and enjoy nature together in their daily lives. Based on R&D work we’d done to harvest social media posted within every public park in the state (parks.stamen.com), we were engaged by Resources Legacy Fund and the state of California’s Parks Forward Commission, charged with charting the future of public parks in the nation’s most populous state. The products of our previous research work — complex maps of real-time social media that are beautiful in their own right — became the infrastructure upon which we’ve built a simple, powerful tool. The first view of the site is a prominent search bar where you can enter a location (anything Google can geocode) or hit the “locate me” button to get a list of parks near you. You can also tap one of the “story blocks” to get nearest-first curated lists we’ve assembled around several different themes. From there, you can narrow and tailor your search to see just the activities you’re most interested in. At launch, we have activities data and official park URLs for 816 large wilderness parks, plus key city park activity data for 5,447 urban parks across the state. And we have a web application that’s built for mobile. An interface available in English and Spanish (a big shout-out to Latino Outdoors for help on translation and user testing!). All tied into native routing software available on every smartphone. But it’s really just a start. There’s a lot more data that could be harvested, and a lot more service to provide to California, and potentially other states and nations! We especially hope to expand on the key idea that using social media and open data as a content database both radically opens up the parks conversation and also substantially reduces the risk of launching a new application. A radically open conversation means that sometimes we might hear and see things that make us uncomfortable. But with daily image harvesting, the solution is clear: Head out to the park you love and post some images! (Just make sure your location services are enabled.) Result: A richer and more engaging view about that park on CaliParks.org. But more importantly: A richer and more engaging representation of that park across diverse[...]



The Zachary Watson Memorial Education Fund

Tue, 13 Jan 2015 15:41:53 -0500

by Eric

Last year, our friend and colleague Zachary Watson tragically died in an accident at the age of 29, leaving many of us shocked and deeply saddened. In his memory and honor, a few current and former Stamens have set up an education fund. It's being administered by our friends and neighbors down the street at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts.

Zach was a well-loved and much-respected member of our community, involved with and leading some of Stamen's most iconic work. He was a free and independent man, quirky and full of life, pursuing his varied interests with a fresh eye and a big smile. So in that spirit, each year on March 14 (Pi Day) one promising young creative coder will receive a $5,000 grant from Zach's fund to help further their education. The funds will be provided free and clear, and recipients may use the money for whatever they wish.

You can donate to the fund if you like; we want to keep his memory alive through helping others like him. And if you'd like to apply, or know someone who would, please take a look here for directions.

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I saw a lot of myself in Zach. Among other things, we were both the kinds of young men that thought suits and mohawks went well together. He was a smart and talented and fun guy, and I miss him a lot.

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Donate or apply to the Zachary Watson Memorial Education Fund here.


Media Files:
http://content.stamen.com/files/1506586_10103798134699423_5737209234359574361_n.jpg




Get a drink of open data with MapIsArt

Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:50:13 -0500

Just in time for your holiday gift buying rush, we're announcing today a new partnership with MapIsArt. They're a new company formed to take advantage of the increased availability and accuracy of OpenStreetMap data by offering custom map products based on our watercolor maps. We're starting off with a couple different custom products: canvas, table lamps, marble clocks, serving trays, and (drum roll please) table coasters, and there's more to come as things develop. But in the meantime, show your love for Stamen & OSM by heading over to MapIsArt for custom map goodies!

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Introducing Positron & Dark Matter: New Basemap Styles for CartoDB

Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:47:55 -0500

By Beth & Seth

Ready to make lovely maps using open source data on an open source platform? Two new basemap styles – Positron and Dark Matter – are available from mapping platform CartoDB, waiting for you to make your own beautiful visualizations.

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CartoDB already has a suite of styles to choose from, but some of the ones using OpenStreetMap data were only available at limited zoom levels. With our new styles, visualization possibilities await at all zooms, creating an opportunity for depth beyond what’s been possible before now.

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Throughout both maps we’ve made clear labeling for cities, parks, water bodies, and administrative boundaries. We’ve also worked out the relationships between line thickness and outlines for roads, railroads, rivers, and lakes across all zoom levels. Relative brightness of various features have been tweaked to create an appropriate hierarchy of importance at all zoom levels.

And finally, we’ve given some extra special love to the CartoDB offices in Madrid and Brooklyn, and the Stamen office in San Francisco (only visible when you zoom all the way in).

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It’s been great working with CartoDB to make it easier for everyone to make data visualizations. Now we’re excited to see what you make with what we made together.

Want to use these basemaps with Leaflet? Here's how:

var layer = L.tileLayer('http://{s}.basemaps.cartocdn.com/light_all/{z}/{x}/{y}.png',{
  attribution: '© OpenStreetMap contributors, © CartoDB'
});

var map = L.map('map', {
    scrollWheelZoom: false,
    center: [40.7127837, -74.0059413],
    zoom: 6
});

map.addLayer(layer);

Let your data story sing!


Media Files:
http://content.stamen.com/files/cartodb-positron-zooms-madrid.jpg




Healthcare Variation: Location, Location, Location

Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:35:39 -0500

This week, the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF), a longtime Stamen client, released a completely redesigned and updated version of All Over the Map, a tool to help policymakers, health professionals, and concerned citizens discover variations in the prevalence of elective procedures across California.

Why does such variation matter? Well, it turns out geography matters when it comes to whether or not a person gets a knee replacement or has a baby through induced labor. And location matters even when the data experts working with CHCF corrected for other factors, like age, race, socioeconomic status, and so on.

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Using this map, one can discover that, if you’re a pregnant woman in Gardenia, you are six times more likely to have an electively induced birth as if you lived in Napa.

That’s a big difference!

All Over the Map 2014 is the third version of this interface we’ve designed and built for CHCF, going back to 2011. The key change this year was, well, change. With two data periods available for many procedures, we had the opportunity to highlight not just outliers in one time period, but also how much certain areas have changed over time.

For example, though Clearlake residents had the state’s highest rate of coronary angiography from 2005 to 2008, that rate dropped by 47% in 2009-12.

Working closely with CHCF, we were able to create an interface that combines bold colors and simple bar charts with careful and refined interactions and subtle color gradations to bring beauty and subtlety to highly technical data. Color schemes and legends highlight outliers in the data, while thoroughly storing variables in the URL means that all states of the map are easily shareable.

How does your home region fare on the map? Find out!


Media Files:
http://content.stamen.com/files/chcf_nov20_2014.jpg




The Urbanist: Urban Cartography at SPUR

Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:15:31 -0500

It's no secret that the field of cartography has been going through some pretty serious change lately, and that a lot of this change is happening because of work being done here in the Bay Area. San Francisco-based nonprofit think tank SPUR has been tracking developments in the field and doing a lot to get the word out: their current Urban Cartography exhibit is in the pages of Dwell, San Francisco Magazine, and Curbed. We received our copies of the magazine that accompanies the exhibit today. It's great to see the iconic work that Eric Fischer does alongside our own City from the Valley map, Andreas' summer fellowship, and Alan's OpenStreetMap work.

The exhibit is up through February 2015, so there's plenty of time to pay it a visit.

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Announcing a new Stamen partner

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 16:45:01 -0400

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 SAN FRANCISCO, CA, September 3, 2014 — Stamen Design, known for award-winning design in the field of data visualization and its beautiful and technologically sophisticated mapping projects—laid out its plan today to service the expanding frontier of communications for big data. The San Francisco-based firm announced Jon Christensen as a partner and strategic adviser. Christensen, a veteran journalist (New York Times, High Country News, LA Observed), editor (Boom: A Journal of California), and academic (Stanford, UCLA) is opening a Los Angeles office for Stamen. He will provide an infusion of capital for the company to invest in product development as well as strategic guidance and relationships for expanding business in a range of areas where his own career has developed, including environmental, scientific, journalism, mass media, cultural, museum, library, and educational markets. The announcement is the latest step in a series of collaborations between Stamen Design and Christensen. As a result of the new partnership, the fortified Stamen has released and is currently developing several new public data visualization projects, including charting the impact of sea level rise on communities nationwide with Climate Central, exploring water quality and quantity risks along with opportunities for conservation in cities worldwide with The Nature Conservancy, helping San Francisco Bay Area museums publicly share data about their collections, and creating new open data and open mapping tools for the Knight Foundation’s Knight News Challenge. Additionally, Stamen will use new capital to develop spin-off products and services that flow naturally out of these client projects and can be used by multiple customers to meet their mapping and data visualization needs in commercial, nonprofit, and academic markets. Eric Rodenbeck, Founder, CEO & Creative Director of Stamen, stated: “With open data, Stamen found an opportunity to connect its experimental and commercial projects to become a leading brand in this field. With Jon’s help, Stamen is poised to substantially expand its reach in commercial, nonprofit, and educational markets. Together, our data visualization tools will drive news, create dialogues, provide key intelligence, influence decisions, and identify potential solutions for the challenges facing our most important natural and cultural resources. We announce Jon’s partnership, our new Los Angeles office, and our future work together with great enthusiasm, having found in him the partner who can extend our reach while confirming and enhancing all of Stamen’s existing strengths.” “I am thrilled to be joining Stamen Design as a partner and am tremendously excited to head the company’s Los Angeles office,” Christensen said. “I’ve followed Stamen’s work closely over the years as a researcher, historian, journalist, educator, and curator of public projects. Data visualization, digital mapping, and interactive storytelling are becoming increasingly important in these areas. Stamen is the place you go when you’re ready to get serious about communicating with your data, and I’m excited to see our clients come to us with questions about the use of visualization across the spectrum from history to science, finance to logistics. It’s great to be at the forward edge of discovering what’s possible with mapping and data, and I’m looking forward to helping Stamen [...]



Farewell, Zach Watson

Sat, 16 Aug 2014 20:18:03 -0400

Two weeks ago, we were horrified to learn that our friend and Stamen alum Zach Watson was fighting for his life after having been the victim of a car crash that injured six people in the Tenderloin. He's been in critical condition since then.

I'm so very sorry to have to tell you that Zach passed away this afternoon. The doctors determined a few days ago that his coma would be permanent, and he was taken off of life support at 3:14pm.

It's appropriate that he would leave us then, right at the number pi. I personally knew the side of him that was deeply involved with math, having worked with him on so many wonderful projects while he was at Stamen. I had second hand knowledge of the other side of him, the part that was perhaps even more deeply involved with food, and dancing, and embracing life. He was a smart interesting curious man, quick to laughter and very much on his own path. The work he did with me and Stamen is some of the work that I'm proudest of in my life. I was thrilled for him when he decided to continue his career after Stamen at the Exploratorium, and I'm sorry not to have seen more of the work he did there. Today the world lost a great artist and thinker and bon vivant.

He was 29 years old. I miss him dearly.

Sail on, Dr. Watson. We love you.




All the people underwater: new Surging Seas map of California

Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:22:39 -0400

by Eric Climate change is one of those things that can be so invisible, and in some cases so subtle, that it can be hard to conceptualize. Over the years, our work with Climate Central has sought to make one symptom of this looming problem – sea level rise – much easier to see. The maps we've made together reveal what's lost as water makes its way upon our shores, rather than the mass of land that's left behind. Our most recent work with them, in partnership with New America Media, shows us very clearly what we'd lose in California: the homes of hundreds of thousands of people. Here are some specific numbers: Long Beach tells a different story: Reports and maps for coastal California cities can be found on Climate Central's website, as well as sea level rise visualization and analysis for coastal continental US. It's all becoming ever more real. And now we can see it coming as we never could before. View the project here.[...]


Media Files:
http://content.stamen.com/files/surging-seas-.jpg




Visualizing a failed bitcoin market: The MtGox 500

Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:18:44 -0400

In late February 2014 MtGox, one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges, filed for bankruptcy protection. On March 9th a group posted a leak of MtGox data, which included the trading history of users from April 2011 to November 2013. We've been collaborating with Kai Chang & Mary Becica on some visualizations of this data; they're live as of today at http://bitcoin.stamen.com/.

These graphs explore the trade behaviors of the 500 highest volume MtGox users from the leaked data set. These are the Bitcoin barons, wealthy speculators, dueling algorithms, greater fools, and many more who took bitcoin to the moon.

Bitcoin Barons

Barons are characterized by their early start in the market followed by big sells at higher prices. Initial trades with many sells suggest the user mined bitcoin before entering the Gox market.

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Dueling Bots

Automated traders can build up a large volume by making thousands of small trades. Vertical stripes of sells across a wide price range may also indicate algorithmic activity.

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Glitch in the System

User 15 purchases large volumes of bitcoin at seemingly random prices. Why do so many traders sell at low prices to User 15? Why does User 15 buy at astronomically high prices? Are these faulty trades or an algorithm gone mad?

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Greater Fools

The mark of the Greater Fool is a lonely green patch where the price is highest. Some of these may be investment groups encouraged by the Bitcoin Senate Hearings in November.

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For more visuals (we've mapped the top 500), please see http://bitcoin.stamen.com/. You can take a look at some previous visualizations of markets Stamen has done here and here.




A Tale of Two Cities’ Maps: Dataviz is a Garden, not Architecture

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:17:35 -0500

By Eric and Beth, cross posted from Markets for Good This post is a check on both our ambitions and our processes. The uses of data visualization are different according to whether the goal is to communicate a specific thought for a single moment, e.g. as a poster, or the goal is to provide a durable tool for social change. It should be mighty safe to say that we want the latter, i.e. to take full advantage of the ability to create dynamic, interactive, real-time stories that make data plain and useful. Eric Rodenbeck, CEO & Creative Director, and Beth Schechter, Education and Outreach, Stamen Design offer a fundamental insight to inform data strategy: think about the future – how you will maintain your visualization outputs and capabilities (both human and technical) on a shifting landscape. The data visualization community is a large, diverse, and growing one. As different as we all are, there is a vein that runs through all of us: earnest pursuit of the truth, love of information, and desire to share it in a beautiful, clear, understandable way. It is from this desire that the data visualizers produce some of their most impactful work, like Periscopic’s U.S. Gun Deaths in 2013, or Hyperakt and Ekene Ijeoma collaboration The Refugee Project. For us, one of these works is Crimespotting. Crimespotting began as an independent guerrilla project, organizationally attached only to Stamen. We realized that it was important for residents of Oakland – a Bay Area city with a crime-addled history – to have more information about the crime in their neighborhood than just seeing police cars whiz by, sirens ablaze. Former Stamen partner Mike Migurski started scraping the Oakland Police Department’s API and sorting police reports by time, block, and report type. After Chauncey Bailey, a prominent local journalist, was assassinated in broad daylight in downtown Oakland, we decided to make this data public on an interactive map. Not long after launch, two things happened. First, the City of Oakland turned off our access to their servers, which effectively shut down the project until we were able to connect with the city’s crime data department, who eventually turned into one of the project’s biggest supporters. Second, the City of San Francisco asked us to create an officially sanctioned version of the project for San Francisco, which we did do. The San Francisco instance was launched in 2009, with Mayor Gavin Newsom at our side. All of this happened over half a decade ago. In the years that followed, the project apexed with tremendous impact and support – including coverage in the New York Times and this video with Hans Rosling. But over the years, the project started wavering. Oakland’s API has sputtered to the point of being nonfunctional, rendering Oakland Crimespotting totally spotless. (see below) Although the San Francisco version has fared slightly better thanks to Stamen partner Shawn Allen and Jeff Johnson at the SF Department of Technology, it’s also broken several times. Only in the past couple of weeks have Shawn and Jeff found time to work on fixing it amid a medical leave. If not for these volunteered efforts, the San Francisco version would be as comatose as Oakland’s. Watching the static nature of this project play out is painful, as is answering countless emails asking about why they are broken and when they will be fixed. We want to say that it will happen soon, but we know that reality dictates otherwise. We also know that it’s no longer acceptable to tell the public, “So[...]