The MapStory Foundation

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Check out the latest news from the Foundation on our Blog, or read up on any staff members' Journal entries at


Contact the Foundation team directly at


The MapStory Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 organization based in the United States. A community of staff, Trustees, partners, volunteers and registered MapStorytellers make our work possible.


Project Director, Jonathan Marino

Jonathan Marino
Jonathan joined MapStory in January 2013 as the first staff member and has overseen the growth of MapStory from a kitchen-table hobby to a global resource. Marino's career focuses at the intersection of human rights, education and technology. Prior to MapStory, he coordinated the Innovation Lab inside the Council of Chief State School Officers, managed service-learning at the Chicago Public Schools, and conducted research on refugee rights as a Fulbright Scholar at the Makerere University Refugee Law Project. He holds a master's degree in philosophy from the National University of Ireland, Galway and undergraduate degrees in political science and public policy from Northwestern University.

Creative Director, Rey Dizon

Reynaldo Dizon, Jr.
Rey joined MapStory as a Summer Fellow in June 2013 and stayed on to become the Creative Director. In that role he is responsible for all design aspects of the MapStory platform. An avid cartographer, geodetic engineer and data guru, Rey has also taken on many independent projects during his time with MapStory, such as designing for the site, contributing maps to Parag Khanna's latest book Connectography, and building Prior to joining MapStory, Rey served as a commissioned officer and geodetic engineer in the Phillipino military. An avid traveller, he has visited all 50 states in the USA and dreams of visiting every country in the world someday.

Education Director, Deborah Berry

Deborah Berry
Deborah has been leading MapStory's education programs since the summer of 2015. She initiated the first MapStory Student Team program in partnership with the Washington DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer and the DC Public Library and works curriculum writing, educator outreach and partnerships. Prior to MapStory Deborah worked at National Public Radio, U.S. Census Bureau, and Advocates for Justice in Education. In her spare time she loves pursuing her interests in urban agriculture, environmental justice and the tiny house movement. She has a degree in geography from Mt. Holyoke College where she was a Francis Perkins Scholar.

Data Director, Nitin Gadia

Nitin Gadia
Nitin has been with MapStory from the start. Ever since childhood he's dreamed of building a single map that could show the history of all human settlement as it has evolved over time. With MapStory, he's bringing that dream into reality. Nitin started with MapStory as a volunteer, making videos to help communicate the idea to potential donors and supporters. He also completed one of the first major MapStory projects, mapping the historical development of his hometown, Ames, Iowa since its founding in 1848. He has since expanded the Ames project into the first "MapStory Community Initiative", which he calls MapStory Local. Community Initiatives are large-scale data collection projects that the Foundation deems central to the goal of achieving a comprehensive historical atlas, and thus gets directly involved in helping to accomplish. MapStory Local is an Initiative aimed at collecting StoryLayers that track the history of the built environment by humans, throughout time. As Data Director, Nitin works with MapStorytellers to help get their data uploaded, and works with the Technology Team to make sure the platform supports MapStorytellers' needs.

> Check out Nitin's MapStory Blog:

Technology Team

The MapStory Foundation works with a growing community of open source developers to maintain and continuously improve the platform. For a full list of contributors to the MapStory codebase, check out our Github page. Currently the following six developers are working full-time on the platform:

Clarence Davis, Boundless Geo

Clarence is the current MapStory system architect, overseeing all server and build environments for the platform. He is also a Senior Systems Architect at Boundless Geo, one of the world's leading open source geospatial software companies.

Jeremiah Cooper, Prominent Edge

Jeremiah runs the MapStory DevOps process. This involves monitoring daily platform performance and translating user feedback into technical tickets assigned to developers in bi-weekly sprints. He also works as a staff developer at Prominent Edge, a leading open source software development company that specializes in core tools that MapStory utilizes, such as GeoGig and MapLoom.

Emily Ashley, Boundless Geo

Emily is a team developer focused on overall platform usability. She is also on staff at Boundless Geo and also helps run MapTime, the global network of open learning environments focused on mapping and cartography.

Darin Acosta, Boundless Geo

Darin is a team developer focused on back-end components including MapLoom and GeoGig. He is also on staff at Boundless Geo.

Tyler Battle, Boundless

Tyler is a team developer focused on back-end components including GeoGig, as well as our overall deployment environment.

Jose Llausas, Prominent Edge

Jose is a developer focused on mobile. He is currently helping improve the overall test coverage of the MapStory codebase, but soon plans to switch gears to architect and improve the mobile experience for MapStory users, from editing StoryLayers to finding and playing MapStories.

Pictured from left...?
Pictured from left: Chris Holmes, Ian Schnieder, Betsy Emmons, Daniel Dufour, Nitin Gadia, Emily Loux, Chris Tucker, Jonathan Marino, Liz Lyon, Steven Shyu, Karl Phillips, Rey Dizon, Sean Emerson. Taken during Code Sprint 2013 at offices in Washington DC.
Pictured from left...?
Pictured from left: Betsy Emmons, Sean Emerson, Rey Dizon, and Daniel Dufour

We also want to thank all the developers that have contributed to MapStory in big and small ways over the past few years. They include:

  • Chris Holmes, Planet Labs
  • Ian Schneider, Planet Labs
  • Travis Brundage, Boundless Geo
  • Tyler Garner, Prominent Edge
  • Bart van den Eljden, Boundless Geo
  • Alyssa Wright, Mapzen
  • Jeff Johnson, Terranodo
  • Syrus Mesdaghi Prominent E
  • Dave Bitner, dbSatial
  • Ariel Nunez, Terranodo
  • Mila Frerichs, Terranodo
  • Simone Dalmasso, Terranodo

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Academic Advisory Council

The MapStory Academic Advisory Council provides continuous advice to staff on how to ensure the design and functionality of supports deeper, interpretative storytelling than a pure data commons on its own would allow. Members of the Advisory Council include:

  • Dr. Scott Nesbit, Co-Chair, (University of Georgia)
  • Dr. Adam Arenson, Co-Chair (Manhattan College)
  • Dr. Jan Reiff (UCLA)
  • Dr. Ryan Cordell (Northeastern)
  • Dr. Jo Guldi (Brown)
  • Dr. Joni Seager (Bentley)

Summer Fellows

Starting in Summer 2013, the MapStory Foundation has worked with a team of college-level Fellows who pursue their own MapStory projects while supporting the larger community.

2013 Summer Fellows

  • Betsy Emmons
  • Daniel Dufour
  • Sean Emerson
  • Reynaldo Dizon, Jr.

2014 Summer Fellows

  • Dan Tueriello
  • Betsy Emmons
  • John Vincent
  • Jeremiah Siochi

2015 Summer Fellows

  • Deborah Berry
  • Dagmawit Betru
  • Jahwon Corbett
  • Esmeraldo Lovos
  • Aliaih Peterson
  • Zachary Greene
  • Tyrome Williams
  • Eric Osei-Ampedu
  • Joseph Kahoe
  • Tamfor Dulin

2016 Summer Fellows

  • Tyrome Williams
  • Tiana Robinson
  • Ronnie Buggs
  • Joseph Kahoe
  • David Hounyo
  • Esmeralda Lovos
  • Chris Chase

Reports, White Papers and Presentations

2014-2016 Strategic Plan

2013 Prospectus

White Paper: MapStory as an Open Educational Resource

White Paper: Mapping and the Digital Humanities

White Paper: MapStory - An Interdisciplinary Research Platform for the Earth Sciences

Press Releases

November 19, 2015 MapStory Foundation receives grant from Longview Foundation to launch GeoBadges

June 6, 2014 Sunlight Foundation sponsors MapStory 'Open Boundaries' initiative with OpenGov Grant

March 4, 2014 MapStory announces Dr. Scott Nesbit and Dr. Adam Arenson as Co-Chairs of the MapStory Humanities Advisory Council

April 8, 2013 MapStory announces 2013 Teaching Fellows

March 1, 2013 MapStory launches effort to chronicle human settlement throughout history

February 14, 2013 First ever FedGeoDay announces schedule, MapStory to cosponsor

January 29, 2013 MapStory is announced a finalist for the SXSW LaunchEDU competition

Media Coverage

  • April 17, 2012, Directions Magazine review.
  • April 16, 2012, Trajectory Magazine podcast