MapStory launches effort to chronicle human settlement throughout history

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Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 12, 2013

MapStory kickstarts effort to chronicle human settlement since the beginning of time

MapStory recently launched an effort to chronicle human settlement throughout history. We call it MapStory Local. Just like Google Maps or openstreetmap is mapping the human world across space, MapStory Local is doing the same, for all of time. We have demonstrated MapStory Local with Ames, Iowa that includes all the buildings, properties, roads, railroads, boundaries, and more, from the time it was founded in 1863. View this MapStory at and watch a 13 second time lapse of the work at

MapStory Local launched with an event at Busboys and Poets in Washington DC on February 27. Over 100 people attended, representing a variety of professional fields and interests. Dr. Frank Smith, Founder of the African American Civil War Memorial, kicked off the event, followed by a presentation by Nitin Gadia, creator of the Ames, Iowa MapStory. Photos are available at

Nitin Gadia has since refined the process he created in Ames so that this can be done by anyone in a few day's work. The MapStory Foundation is now poised to support other MapStorytellers who seek to replicate Nitin’s process in their own community. New MapStory Local projects are already developing in Durham, North Carolina, Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington DC. Documentation of the project can be accessed at Nitin Gadia said of his efforts:

"The data for Ames was obtained from the local city government, public data that is in the possession of every local government across the country. Once you have the data, it takes only hours to create a mapstory of a local area, and in the coming years, we can cover every part of the world."

This effort is made possible because of the platform, the only open source application on the web today that combines a geo-spatial-temporal enabled data commons with a social platform that allows users to peer review and collaborate on representations of that data. To learn more, visit and read about latest updates on