Resources of Levantine mappers

This is a list that I started compiling a while ago, to consolidate a bunch of resources that I use for reference in my every day research and mapping work. I wanted to share it with my class and my communities at large, so here it is.

Compiled by: Majd Al-Shihabi (@majdal)

I need to...

Make maps

  • - scratch pad for maps

  • uMap - More advanced map editing tools with good sharing options

  • QGIS - Serious map making an analysis, free open source alternative to ArcGIS/ArcMap. It’s free now, and it’ll stay free forever.

  • MapHub - quick map making and sharing

  • OpenRouteService - Generate route, isochrone , and isodistance maps from OpenStreetMap road network, and export into geoJSON and other formats

Get data

Access historical map archives (and other spatial data)

  • Old Maps Online - searches a bunch of historical map collections, searches by location, maps are georeferenced

  • David Rumsey Map Collection - more georeferenced historical maps

  • Archnet - by the Agha Khan Foundation: "An open-access resource on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues", with a ton of material on the region

  • Palestine Open Maps - historical maps of Palestine, with all the data extracted (my project!)

  • Al-Madaq - historical maps of Cairo, going back to 1809

Get data from OpenStreetMap

Add data to OSM

Collect data privately

  • Open Data Kit - the most comprehensive mobile data collection tool set out there. All open source, but requires lots of setup.

  • Field Papers - create atlases for printing, that you can then upload to OpenStreetMap or OSM-seed

  • OSM Seed - create your own private version of OpenStreetMap

Style maps

  • Mapbox Studio - style and serve very highly customized geographic data. There’s a free version, but gets very expensive very quickly.

  • Maputnik - Free and open source map styler, but it doesn’t serve the files for you.

  • Kartotherian - same thing but made by Wikimedia (the people behind Wikipedia)

  • Color Brewer - color advice for cartography

Learn GIS and get help

Problematize GIS as a form of knowledge

License my data openly

I also want to…

Make pretty visualizations

  • RAWgraphs - Make complex visualizations of complex data

  • - Understand complex systems by understanding the relations between their components. They also have a fantastic newsletter that you should subscribe to.

Learn more about information design

But I’m a programmer…


  • Shapely - Python package for analyzing vector geographic datasets

  • Rasterio - Python package for analyzing raster geographic datasets

  • OSMnx -  Python for Street Networks from OpenStreetMap

  • OpenRouteService - an open source package for route management


  • D3 - Data Driven Documents in Javascript

Learning resources

I want to see some cool applications

  1. Use the following URL\_Imagery/MapServer