Dotspotting was the first project Stamen released as part of CityTracking, launched on June 17, 2011. Here’s how we describe what Dotspotting is for:

The first part of this project is to start from scratch, in a ‘clean room’ environment. We’ve started from a baseline that’s really straightforward, tackling the simplest part: getting dots on maps, without legacy code or any baggage. Just that, to start. Dots on maps.

dots on maps

Since the project launched, around 400 maps-with-dots-on have been created using the site. We’ve also often used the system internally at Stamen to get a lightning fast visual of data we work with for clients; to see its shape and spread. It’s incredibly simple. All you have to do is upload a CSV that contains latitude/longitude information for each row, in addition to whatever other fields you’re using to describe things. Super handy!

The Dotspotting site also contains a bunch of somewhat hidden but awesome features, like being able to set up an embeddable map that shows different types of dots on a map, in a colour scheme to your liking (a la Crimespotting). We’re working on exposing those sorts of features more clearly and explicitly, perhaps even as separate modules that can be accessed independently of the website.

The code for Dotspotting is available for download on Github, and licensed for used under the GNU General Public License.