The Cartagen project is led by researchers at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, but we welcome contributions from anyone.
In short, Cartagen lets you make beautiful, customized maps with a simple stylesheet.
Maps are styled with Geographic Style Sheets (GSS), a cascading stylesheet specification for geospatial information – a decision which leverages literacy in CSS to make map styling more accessible. However, GSS is a scripting language as well, making Cartagen an ideal framework for mapping dynamic data. See About Gss and Gss Usage for more on GSS.
Mobile devices and networks have made possible distributed reporting of geographic and temporal data, from unfolding natural disasters to organizing protests in real time. Cartagen allows users to integrate real time data streams and display them in novel ways.
Cartagen can display maps that change based on live data streams.
It also offers the possibility of rendering OpenStreetMap data which is not currently efficient with tile-based systems – such as authorship and time data. A simple but useful example is that Cartagen can show live OpenStreetMap data – in the sense that viewers see edits occurring in real time, with no rendering load on the server.
With powerful mapping tools such as these, there is an opportunity for users to create their own maps – not just pushpins and overlays, but completely designed maps which incorporate rich and dynamic data, and most of all maps which tell stories. Instead of a single canonical map for everyone, individuals and communities can make locally and personally relevant maps.
Source: Cartagen Wiki