About the competition

NACIS recognizes the importance of dynamic mapping in cartography. We are sponsoring the 21st Annual Student Dynamic Map Competition to promote excellence and innovation in interactive cartography.

There are two competition categories: individual projects and group projects.

Each map will be judged by a panel of three professional cartographers. The winners will be announced during the 2020 NACIS annual meeting.

Have a print map instead? The NACIS Student Map & Poster Competition is for you. Any questions about the NACIS Student Dynamic Map Competition can be directed to [email protected]

Registration and Deadline

Registration is currently closed. It will open early Summer 2021 for the 2021 Competiton.

Student Dynamic Map Competition Submissions


Cash prizes of $500 will be awarded to both the best individual and best group entry. At the discretion of the judges, additional noteworthy maps may receive an honorable mention award. All first place and honorable mention maps will receive award certificates.

Judging Criteria

Maps will be judged and ranked based on the following criteria:

  • CONCEPT AND ORIGINALITY: This criterion considers how innovative the map is. How much of the work is borrowed from the work of others? Are there many maps just like it?
  • CARTOGRAPHIC DESIGN: This criterion considers artistic merit, cartographic presentation, clarity of communication, and the quality of graphic composition.
  • INTERFACE DESIGN: This criterion assesses the design and functionality of the interface, and how well it works for the intended audience.
  • RELIABILITY/COMPATIBILITY: This criterion considers the reliability and compatibility of the map for its intended platform (e.g. mobile device).

Eligibility & Rules

  • Entrants must have been enrolled in a certificate program, undergraduate, or graduate/post-graduate program during the 2019–20 academic year.
  • Entries must have been created during the 2019—2020 academic year.
  • The competition is open to students from any country.
  • Entrants must not have previously won first prize in either of the categories of the Dynamic Mapping Competition.
  • Students may enter as many times as they wish, but may only win one prize.
  • Entries must be submitted no later than August 31, 2020 midnight CST.
  • URLs pointing to all contest entries must be active for one year after the annual meeting.
  • Entries must have interactive or dynamic functionality to be considered.
  • Students may re-enter a map from a previous year’s competition provided the map has been improved in a significant way.
  • The cartographic work in these maps must be the original work of the entrant. Use of third party or commercial technology is permitted, but must be appropriately cited. The data, if not produced by the entrant, must also be appropriately cited.

Judging Procedure

Judges will use the current versions of Firefox, Safari, or Chrome with a true color monitor with a resolution of at least 1280 x 800.

Judges will be solicited from the membership of NACIS. A panel of three judges will evaluate each map.

When a map is submitted, the competition director will make an initial evaluation of the map to determine whether the quality is minimally acceptable, the map is generally working, and appropriate citations and credits are given. If problems exist, the directors may decline the entry with comments or instructions to the entrant. Once the director accepts the map for judging, the entrant will be notified that the map has been successfully entered into the competition.

At least one high quality map must be received for each category to warrant awarding both prizes. If no high quality maps are received in one or both categories, judges can decide not to award a prize for the category.

The winners will be announced at the annual meeting banquet. Within 10 days of the banquet, all entrants will receive an e-mail notifying them of the results and any other pertinent information.