13 maps in 13 days: Stephen Smith

Sending off the year 2015, we present to our readers the mapmakers who contributed their work to the 2015 GeoHipster calendar.


Stephen Smith

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I’m a cartographer by night and a GIS Project Supervisor by day. I work for the Vermont Agency of Transportation where I help our rail section use GIS to manage state-owned rail assets and property. Most of the time my work entails empowering users to more easily access and use their GIS data. I’ve used Esri tools on a daily basis since 2008, but recently I’ve been playing with new tools whenever I get the chance. I attended SOTMUS 2014 in DC (my first non-Esri conference) and was really excited about everything happening around the open source geo community. I got some help installing “Tilemill 2” from GitHub and I haven’t looked back. Since then the majority of the maps I’ve made have been using open source tools and data. Lately I’ve been heavily involved in The Spatial Community, a Slack community of 800+ GIS professionals who collaborate to solve each other’s problems and share GIFs. I’m also starting a “mastermind” for GIS professionals who want to work together and help one another take their careers to the next level.

Q: Tell us the story behind your map (what inspired you to make it, what did you learn while making it, or any other aspects of the map or its creation you would like people to know).

A: This map was born out of an inspirational post shared on Marty Elmer’s MapHugger blog. In it he featured a wonderful map of Great Britain from the 1940s. I really fell in love with the style of the map and thought it would be a fun exercise to try to replicate and update it using modern tools and data.

Q: Tell us about the tools, data, etc., you used to make the map.

A: I’ve done a full writeup on my blog which discusses in depth the color palette, specific data sources, software used, manual processing, and the stylistic choices I made while creating the map. It also features a high resolution download of the map perfect for a desktop wallpaper.

'The United States - Her Natural and Industrial Resources' by Stephen Smith
‘The United States – Her Natural and Industrial Resources’ by Stephen Smith