About the competition

NACIS recognizes the importance of dynamic mapping in cartography. We are sponsoring the 22nd Annual Student Dynamic Map Competition to promote excellence and innovation in interactive cartography.

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

The winners will be announced during the 2021 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



Cash prizes of $500 will be awarded to both the best individual and best group entry. At the discretion of the competition organizer, additional noteworthy maps may receive an honorable mention award. All first place and honorable mention maps will receive award certificates. Meeting attendees will vote on the entrants, and the winner will be selected by a tally of ballots.

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.

Judging Criteria

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

  • CONCEPT AND ORIGINALITY: This criterion considers how innovative the map is, either in subject, graphics, or interactivity.
  • 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 2020–21 academic year.
  • Entries must have been created during the 2020—2021 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 September 15, 2021 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.
  • The maps must be compatible with standard internet browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari).
  • Maps will be evaluated for eligibility upon submission.

*NEW FOR 2021*

Students must also provide the following with their submissions:
  1. A video tour of their map, 2-3 minutes in length, in MP4 format.
    • This tour is meant to guide the viewer through the thematic content and technical functionality of their dynamic map.
  2. A PDF informational poster to represent their dynamic map in the in-person gallery.
    • The gallery image should be 11″ x 17″,
    • at least 300dpi,
    • with a 2″ x 2″  QR code in one corner linking to the dynamic map

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.