About mapequation.org

The best maps convey a great deal of information but require minimal bandwidth: the best maps are also good compressions. M. Rosvall and C. T. Bergstrom, Maps of random walks on complex networks reveal community structure, PNAS 105, 1118 (2008)

What do we do?

We develop mathematics, algorithms and software to simplify and highlight important structures in complex systems. This tutorial gives an overview.

What are our goals?

To navigate and understand big data like we navigate and understand the real world by maps.

Who are we?

We are researchers and developers at Umeå University with a background in physics.

How to cite the software?

If you are using the software at mapequation.org in one of your research articles or otherwise want to refer to it, please cite relevant publication or use the following format:

D. Edler and M. Rosvall, The MapEquation software package, available online at http://www.mapequation.org.


The Infomap software is released under a dual licence. To give everyone maximum freedom to make use of Infomap and derivative works, we make the code open source under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3 or any later version. As this is a copyleft license, each distribution of the software, including modified and extended versions, is required to be free in the same sense as well. The AGPLv3 license is built on GPLv3, with the addition that making the product available via a network service also counts as distribution. For a non-copyleft license, please contact us.

Contact us

Please send questions and comments to Martin Rosvall.


Daniel Edler

Daniel Edler

Coding & ideas
Martin Rosvall

Martin Rosvall

Ideas & coding


Other projects we are involved in

We are co-founders of Infobaleen together with Andrea Lancichinetti, Niklas Lovén, Christian Persson, and Jakob Sjölander. Infobaleen is startup company that builds on our research and combines mathematical and algorithmic methods with novel interactive visualization tools. We make our customers' data work for them.


We have a long way to go, but here are some quotes that inspire us:

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo Da Vinci
If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it. Albert Einstein
Confusion and clutter are the failure of design, not the attributes of information. Edward Tufte
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Steve Jobs
What a useful thing a pocket-map is!” I remarked. “That’s another thing we’ve learned from your Nation,” said Mein Herr, “map-making. But we’ve carried it much further than you. What do you consider the largest map that would be really useful?” “About six inches to the mile.” “Only six inches!” exclaimed Mein Herr. “We very soon got to six yards to the mile. Then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the mile!” “Have you used it much?” I enquired. “It has never been spread out, yet,” said Mein Herr: “the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well. Carroll, L., Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (Macmillan and Co, London, 1893)