Dec 3, 2014 · 7 min read

Writers, photographers, storytellers — gather your lenses, unsheathe your pens — today Maptia 2.0 is launching.

Come and join our global community of creative individuals who love to explore new cultures and new places, who care about the environment, and who believe that thoughtful storytelling can make a tangible, positive impact in the world.

The past 1,000 days have seen us journey across four continents on our quest to build Maptia. It has been an amazing adventure, and today we are proud to open Maptia up to the world — with a whole set of exciting new features and a beautiful new design.

Yes, it’s new and shiny, but no, it’s not finished or complete or done or any of those things — it’s not even close, and we hope it never will be. Because as long as there are more people having more experiences in more places all over this beautiful lump of spinning rock that we are lucky enough to call home, then Maptia will never be done.

Maptia is a place to publish our most thoughtful and inspiring stories about the world around us. Stories about the places we call home, stories about the places closest to our hearts, stories about the places we have travelled. Stories about lives utterly different from our own, and stories about the people and places who need our help and support to thrive.

Together with our community, we are on a mission to gather an ever-growing, shared record of our diverse lives and experiences from every single place on the planet — one that inspires us to get out there and to make the most of our time on Earth.

Scroll onwards for a taster of what to expect from Maptia 2.0 or head straight over to and check it out for yourself.

Storyteller Homepage

Everyone who joins Maptia has a beautiful storytelling homepage, where they can showcase their writing and photography, increase their exposure, and share their unique lens on the world.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust, 1871–1922

Credit to Cristina Mittermeier, Jody MacDonald, and Alastair Lee for these Maptia storytelling homepages.

Beautiful Stories

National Geographic’s Jim Richardson says that, as photographers, “it’s our job to be in service of the story.” We have designed our story layout with these words as our guiding philosophy. The story comes first, always.

Our story editor enables you to craft beautiful photo stories. And we’re only just getting started. In the coming weeks and months we will be launching new features like custom story maps, photo grids, multiple header layouts, the ability to present your story in distinct sections using chapters or moments, and beautiful typographical quotes.

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”—Philip Pullman

Read Last of the Sea Nomads by James Morgan and Crossing the Highlands by Alastair Humphreys on Maptia.

Storytelling Themes

Once published, you can submit your story to one of our global Storytelling Themes, where your story will be featured alongside some of our top storytellers if you can you impress our editors.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”—J.K. Rowling

Discover our Storytelling Themes over on Maptia.

Featured Stories Homepage

If your story really resonates with our community and starts to generate momentum, then it will be featured on the main homepage — alongside our daily Editors’ Pick.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” — Jawaharlal Nehru

Credit to David duChemin, Tewfic El-Sawy, David Lazar, and Steve McCurry for the beautiful stories shown featured here on

Putting Your Stories on the Map

Beautiful maps are an integral part of what makes storytelling on Maptia unique, and all stories must have an overall location — which can be as broad (e.g. India) or as specific (e.g. Taj Mahal) as you like.

One of the most important parts of our mission at Maptia is an ongoing quest to build the most inspirational map in the world — an interactive map of the world filled with beautiful, thought-provoking stories from every corner of the globe. One that we can all contribute to, and one that we can share with the generations to come. We believe that everyone, everywhere has unique stories to share.

But hang on just a moment, we hear you cry, this sounds amazing, I want to dive in right now and start exploring….where is this map?

Well, don’t fret because along with our good friends over at Mapbox, we’re working on it. Maptia 2.0 is a completely new product, and we wanted to share the first version with you as soon as it was ready. Adapting current map-based technology for storytelling, so that our maps are truly beautiful, interactive and customisable, is a challenge—but it’s a challenge we’re excited about, and we’re making good progress behind the scenes.

For now, you’ll spot the bold new maps in the headers of all Maptia stories, and you will also spot the very first, humble version of our world map of stories on our Editors’ Picks page, where we visualise the most remarkable stories contributed to Maptia (see a screenshot below, then head over to Maptia to explore the map in all its interactive glory). And before long we will be visualising everyone’s stories on a much bigger version of our map.

Head over to to explore these stories and more.

Over the next few months, in addition to working on expanding our world map, we will be working with our storytellers to build a fully interactive story map, which will beautifully visualise the places or locations that a storyteller writes about (we call these ‘place mentions’) within their story.

We are also launching the first Place Pages on Maptia today (see below) and over the coming months we will be running special storytelling events to launch country and city pages—gathering together hundreds of different perspectives and stories from each place.

If you’re a writer, photographer, videographer, or storyteller with a special love or unique perspective on the country where you now live or where you grew up — and think that you might like to be involved in helping us launch your country’s place page on Maptia, then please do drop us a line.

“That is the charm of the map. It represents the other side of the horizon where everything is possible.” — Rosita Forbes, Writer and Explorer, 1890–1967

Explore inspiring stories from North America, Africa, and Asia on Maptia.

Will your stories find a ‘home’ on Maptia?

On the Internet, just as in real life, we are all searching for places that feel like ‘home.’ Places filled with like-minded and thoughtful people. Places that we instinctively know are the right platforms and communities for the particular type of content we are sharing.

When we find these places it is inspiring to know that we are part of a community who live by similar philosophies, who share our passions and beliefs, and who are uniting for a common cause while at the same time celebrating and learning from their differences — it feels good to find somewhere that we belong.

Part of the beauty of the Internet is that it gives us the tools and the freedom to build an infinite number of different platforms, for many different types of stories, from all over the world — and for each of us to find our own particular ‘home.’ It is a blank canvas on which to explore our many similarities and differences.

To paraphrase Craig Mod’s wise words, this amazing array of different platforms actually means that we have the opportunity to publish our work and our stories in more than one place — which is a very good thing. Doing so enables us to work with new people, to connect with new audiences, to be creatively challenged, to see things from new perspectives, and to engage with the world around us with greater empathy.

We are inspired by the growing diversity of well-designed and thoughtful platforms and apps that encourage and enable us to share meaningful, beautiful content online. Today — along with our wonderful community of founding storytellers — we proudly launch Maptia 2.0 out into the colourful, connected, and unfathomably large tapestry of human creations that make up the Internet.

Join a Community That Gives a Damn

We hope that many of you will find a ‘home’ for your most thoughtful and inspiring stories on Maptia, and we believe passionately in putting our purpose and our why — our ‘raison d’être’ — first.

At Maptia we are on a mission to create a shared record of our diverse lives and experiences from every single place on the planet. To gather stories that will foster empathy and understanding between cultures; stories that will empower us to care for our fragile environment and to support those people and places that need our help; and stories that will inspire us to get out there and make the most of our time on Earth.

So if you are looking to join a passionate community of storytellers, photographers, writers, adventurers, and changemakers — all of whom are contributing to a growing library of inspiring and thought-provoking stories from all over the world — then Maptia is the place to be.

We look forward to welcoming you into our community.

Dorothy, Dean, Jonny, Daniel, and Brian

— The Maptia Team

Maptia: See the World

Musings on our philosophies, our vision, and our journey to build Maptia — a beautiful way to tell stories about places.

Thanks to Ella Frances Sanders


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    Explore the world through beautiful stories, published daily by some of the most inspiring photographers, writers, and adventurers on the planet.

    Maptia: See the World

    Musings on our philosophies, our vision, and our journey to build Maptia — a beautiful way to tell stories about places.

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