A Message About Atlastory's Status

I started Atlastory as a side-project almost 3 years ago. I’m a fan of both history and good data visualizations, and was surprised something like this didn’t already exist. It seemed like it would be an amazing educational tool.

Due to personal time constraints, I can’t continue with it so I’m looking for others who are interested. This could mean taking over / adapting the codebase or using other means to pursue the idea. Although the system itself is unfinished, many components are complete and the maps themselves are open sourced as GeoJSONs.

Here's a full writeup on the future vision of Atlastory and what it will take to get there. If you’re interested, shoot me an email at my first name @atlastory.com.

Whatever happens, thank you for your interest in the idea. I’ve loved working on it over the past 3 years and will continue trying to make the vision a reality.

Max Olson
October 15, 2015

Our objective is to create an interactive map that chronicles the history of life on earth.


Our purpose is to improve understanding of the past by organizing and visualizing historic knowledge.

We believe that understanding history helps make for a better future and that the methods of presenting and distributing it are important.

Why an interactive map? Maps are one of the best ways to clearly show an enormous amount of information in a small area. Adding interactivity further improves this density-to-clarity ratio. Since everything in the past took place at a certain time and location, maps are an obvious choice to visualize that knowledge. Understanding history requires seeing changes and interactions over time, and a four-dimensional map allows this.

How should data be collected? Given the enormity of the task, content needs to be crowdsourced, along with major pieces of the technology stack open-sourced. Historic map data has been collected for many years by organizations around the world. Keeping this and any new data open increases its accuracy, speed of collection and availability to everyone.


How to help


DevelopmentHelp contribute to our open-source API and map editor! We use tools like Node.js, Mapnik, Leaflet, and Postgres. If you like what we're doing and are familiar with the tools we use, we'd love to hear from you.


MappingAre you experienced in GIS or cartography? If you’re familiar with ESRI software, QGIS, or any other map-making tools, join our community and start contributing.

Get in contact

If you've got any suggestions or feedback, we'd love to hear from you at the email below.

Contact Us