GIS and Map Contests Roundup

Map and GIS data competitions are a great way to promote geospatial work and receive industry recognition.  Geospatial competitions range from both paper and digital map contests as well as contests designed to showcase the potential of different types of spatial data.  Here are current map and GIS related competitions listed in order of the competition deadline.

Smart Air Challenge

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is challenging communities across the country to collect data using hundreds of air quality sensors as part of the Smart City Air Challenge. The Smart City Air Challenge rewards communities that capitalize on important technology trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), real-time data collection, advanced analytics, and open data exchange. The EPA will award two $40,000 grants to winners that develop plans to collect, manage, and share data from air quality sensors.  Submission deadline is October 28, 2016.  More: Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Smart City Air Challenge,

Global Content Challenge

Esri’s Global Content Challenge invites students to use “personal geographic analyses, visualizations, predictive models, and more, to explore a variety of scientific themes” in order to create map journals.  Entries are due by November 11, 2016. More: Global Content Challenge

International Year of Global Understanding Story Maps Competition

The International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU) Story Maps Competition is a contest aimed at young people from around the world to help raise awareness of the global implications of local everyday actions. Esri is inviting high school and college age students to share their perspectives and research on topics associated with global understanding by creating story maps that examine and address the ways in which we inhabit our increasingly globalized world. Deadline: December 31, 2016.  More: IYGU Map Competition.

CaGIS Map Design Competition

The Cartography and Geographic Information Society is pleased to announce our Annual Map Design Competition. The competition is open to all mapmakers in the United States and Canada for maps completed or published during the past calendar year (2016). Students are particularly encouraged to apply for the award sponsored by Avenza (makers of MAPublisher). The purpose of the competition is to promote interest in map design and to recognize significant design advances in cartography. The focus of this competition is design; therefore, judging is based on cartographic design criteria, such as creativity, text (spelling and grammar, too), balance, unity, visual hierarchy, clarity, use of color, and subject matter. Deadline: January 31, 2017.  More: CaGIS Map Design Competition.

Submit a Map or GIS Competition

If you have a map or GIS competition that you would like to see listed here, please fill out the form below.


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