Welcome to Map Something, the project that encourages you to, well, map something. My name is Jason and I want to help you map stuff, whether that means learning a simple tool, building a custom tool, or simply enjoying some of the wild and wonderful maps created by others.

Our content policy is simple: If it’s in some way related to mapping, and we think it’s awesome, we’ll share it. I hope that most of what we share will be things that will help you not just to appreciate the maps of others, but to build something cool yourself.

Since so much of mapping these days is digital, let me briefly say something about our goals with software. We strive to use tools that are open source when we can, and only proprietary options when we don’t have a good alternative. When we use third-party services, we strive to use only those that are free or provide a free tier, because we think everybody ought to have access to the tools of modern map making. We can’t always hit this mark, but we try.

Let me also say something about terminology. When I say “map making” I might mean a whole lot of different things. I don’t particularly love terms like GIS – it feels to me outdated, and to be associated with a certain kind of map maker. I think maps and working with map data ought to be open to everyone, regardless of what role they hold or what level of experience they have. So while I might throw around words like cartography or geospatial or others, I try not to because they come with baggage. We’re here to talk about maps, and data that can be put on a map. Let’s not get snotty about words.