Maps and mappers of the 2016 calendar: Chandler Sterling

In our series “Maps and mappers of the 2016 calendar” we will present throughout 2016 the mapmakers who submitted their creations for inclusion in the 2016 GeoHipster calendar.


Chandler Sterling

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I work as a GIS Analyst for the City of Pasadena in Southern California. I really enjoy my role at the city as I get to work with each of the city’s departments which allows me to be involved in a myriad of projects and exposes me to many aspects of local government. I have a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin.

I also serve as Treasurer on the board of Guerrilla Cartography ( which works to produce crowd-sourced thematic atlases. Twice a month I help run Los Angeles’s Maptime chapter, and have developed it into a local resource for both individuals and organizations throughout Los Angeles County.

I play guitar and piano in a band called Little Bones ( We released our first three-song EP in January and will have more music out this year, so follow us on social media if you like what you hear.

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: The map I submitted is a joke. It’s a static map in two ways — the area of earth’s continents are filled in with a static texture, and it is static in the sense that it is not interactive. I thought this brand of irony would be fitting for a geohipster calendar.

The idea came to me as I was exploring a recent update to Mapbox Studio back in 2015. I noticed other maps created in MS with interesting textures and used this idea to learn how to use textures in the application.

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

A: The process was pretty simple: I used Mapbox Studio and OSM linework for the continents (to be honest I can’t remember if it was OSM or Natural Earth) and then searched for a high-resolution image of static. The challenge was finding an image that repeated nicely and did not pixelate too much. The result was a pretty basic map, and since geohipsters are certainly not basic, it makes sense that it was not included in the final cut of the calendar.

'Static Map' by Chandler Sterling
‘Static Map’ by Chandler Sterling