The 2024 GIS Certification Institute Map Contest is now closed for judging


GISCI hosts an annual map competition inviting members of the GIS community to submit and share a map of their creation.

Showcase your cartographic creativity! GISCI is invites you to submit and share a map of your creation in our annual map competition. The subject matter, style, and choice of platform/tools is entirely up to you. If all your work is in a StoryMap or Interactive map app format, consider turning your work into a cartographic map or poster that tells your story or process. (It must include a map, of course).   Check out our previous winners for inspiration.

The subject matter, style, and choice of platform/tools are entirely up to you. Showcase your cartographic creativity!

Who can enterWe welcome everyone from the GIS community to participate from students to seasoned professionals. We are offering two contest divisions, one for students (undergraduate and graduate) and one for professionals. Those on the judging team for the contest cannot enter.

Map Specifications and Rules

  • Use of any software is allowed to create your map with the exception of online map portals such as Google Maps or Bing Maps, due to copyright and permission restrictions.
  • File size cannot exceed 16 mb.
  • All submissions must be in PDF format, with a minimum size of 11”x17” and maximum size of 36"x48" (Architectural E).
  • All entries will need to submit a list of data sources and a brief description of the methodology that was used to create the map.
  • One entry per person – either in the student or professional category. You can only submit to one category.
  • All map submissions qualify for GISP Portfolio points in the “Contribution to the Profession”
  • By entering the contest, you agree to allow the use of your map/image for display by GISCI on the website, at the Esri UC, and for promotional purposes.
  • Maps and Winner’s names will be published on the GISCI website.
  • Winners will be required to provide a release to use their map image.

‚ÄčPrizes: This year’s winners will not only have their GISP fees waived (see below) but will also receive a copy of Kenneth Field’s book “Cartography.” First place winners in each category also get coveted GISCI Swag.

Each award winner will have fees waived related to their GISP certification!

  • First-time GISP applicants: your portfolio review fee will be waived when submitted (a $200 value)
  • Current GISPs: your renewal fees will be waived at your next recertification date (a $285 value)

And don't forget that your map submission for the contest qualifies for points under the Contribution to the Profession category in your GISP Portfolio!

Maps produced for the contest do not need to be produced with any particular software, but do note that for those who use Esri products and place 1st-3rd, their maps will be entered and displayed at the Esri User Conference. 

Entry DeadlineSubmission is CLOSED.  Only one entry per contestant will be accepted. 

Judging Criteria: The GISCI Outreach Committee will determine the top 3 in each contest. Each of the following elements will be weighted the same with a maximum score of 5 points awarded per element:

  • Accuracy - grammar, punctuation, spelling
  • Design/Layout - logical organization and visual flow of text and graphics
  • Legibility - text font, text size, figures, tables, and graphics
  • Visual Appeal - color coordination, geometry, accents, highlights, use of symbology
  • Effective communication - understandable and concise
  • Effective use of Geographic Information - appropriate use and portrayal of spatial data
  • Originality - unique presentation

Ready to Enter? Use the 2024 GISCI Map Contest Submission Form

Check out previous competition winners!

2020 GISCI Map Competition Winner: Louis Hill - "Change is the Only Constant"