Karta

Karta is a social mapping tool focused on improving the way people share collections of places. From things like 'Best Coffee in Gothenburg' to 'Murals in Bombay', users create dynamic, themed and collaborative maps all over over the world. Cofounded with Samia Saleem.

+ User Experience Design
+ User Interface Design
+ Product Development

 
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When Karta was just forming as an idea, there were a few key concepts that would lay the groundwork for the entire future of the product. We knew that we wanted it to be a tool—not just in it’s utility, but in it's form as well. 
 

We had always been inspired by product design that pushed the boundaries of function (and in return are beautiful in their simplicity.) Dieter Rams’ stereo turntables from the 60′s, AIAIAI track headphones, and the designs of architect Johannes Norlander Arkitektur, to name just a few.

Below:
One of the original moodboards we created to help define key product characteristics.

 
  Sketches of the SK4

Sketches of the SK4

 Villa Alta by Johannes Norlander Arkitektur

Villa Alta by Johannes Norlander Arkitektur

 Karta business cards

Karta business cards

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

With Karta it wasn't just about the geography of a place, but the personal experience in that place that gave it real relevance. We believed there was value to people to being able to archive their experiences, to share the places they loved and collect the places they wanted to go—Karta turned into a vessel of self-expression through location.
 

Whether traveling or in your own city, wanting recommendations from friends or people with similar interests wasn't a new concept—but there was no easy way to make this exchange. Karta allowed people to curate, archive and collaborate on public or private collections, called kartas [maps in Swedish].
 

 

 
 Create map module

Create map module

 Map creation overlay

Map creation overlay

 Notifications side panel

Notifications side panel

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ambiant Soundscapes, Ceilings of New York, Brothels: The Best Broth Noodles in NY, Murals of Dirty ol' Bastard, Alternative Bombay, Post Industrial Sightseeing, The World's Best Coffee.  



 

Our first users were curators by nature—artists and designers, travelers, writers. Past that the initial 50 invites, we had no control over who joined the community. These people ended up being some of the most surprising contributors—complete strangers creating interest-based collections of places all over the world.

Below:
Ariana Cinema, the best place to watch Bollywood from the karta When in Kabul and St. Xaviers High School from Alternative Bombay.

 

 
 Detail list view

Detail list view

 Detail map view

Detail map view

 Lastest activity

Lastest activity

 Notification panel

Notification panel

 Sliding panel on map view

Sliding panel on map view

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We had a vision of a perfect marriage where social meets utility—a product that would act as a shell allowing people to create collections based on passion, exploration, travel, hobbies, history and art. The sense of community, of learning, is what made Karta so unique; to wake up each morning and find maps created in places that you've never even heard of. 
 

 

"St Xavier’s [a high school in Bombay, India] houses a 3,000-odd collection of preserved animals, birds and reptiles. I saw a stuffed, snarling Bengal Tiger in a glass case guarding a row of classrooms. The collection is scattered across 3 floors, and belonged to Father Antonio Navarro, a former Jesuit priest and ornithologist. The tiger was gifted to him by a maharaja who was a student at the school."

- ANURADHA SENGUPTA, CREATOR OF ALTERNATIVE BOMBAY

 

 

 
 Account settings

Account settings

 Invites

Invites

 Edit account info

Edit account info

 Repin spot

Repin spot

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We launched the beta in the summer of 2013, quickly growing from 50 to 500+ user testers. The team was chosen to participate in the first group of NEA Studio, an incubator for designer-founders started by VC New Enterprise Associates, and later joined FirstGrowth Venture Network.