National Geographic sponsors student map award programs through three cartographic organizations:
- Association of American Geographers (AAG)
- British Cartographic Society
- Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS)
Association of American Geographers
National Geographic Award in Mapping
Undergraduate students and master's-degree candidates are invited to apply for the National Geographic Award in Mapping. This award recognizes student achievement in the art, science, and technology of mapping and seeks to encourage student research.
The first place award consists of a cash prize of $900 (U.S.) and the second place award is $300 (U.S.). Winners and honorable mentions also will receive National Geographic atlases or other map products.
This award is administered through the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Cartography Specialty Group (CSG). Judging will be by the National Geographic Award in Mapping committee of the AAG/CSG and will be based on the technical, aesthetic, and overall quality of the submission. Applying students do not need to be members of the AAG.
How to Apply
Following the strong tradition of print cartography produced by the National Geographic Society, submission must be in the form of a static map in a vector (e.g., pdf) or raster (e.g., jpg, tiff) format. While group work is eligible for submission, the maximum numbers of students working on a single team is three. Entries must be completed as part of the student's curriculum (i.e., not for a job, including freelance work); the student's cartography instructor must confirm that the work was completed for university credit by completing the form available below. In addition to your map, please include the following items with your submission:
- A cover page that includes your name, institutional affiliation, degree program (e.g., M.A.), address, phone number, email, and cartography/GIS instructor's name.
- A one-page statement that provides some context of the submission, i.e. its purpose, how it may be used, how it was created, its limitations, etc. Please also include a paragraph on how this award would help you with your educational plans.
- The completed form signed by your cartography instructor. Download Form.
Submissions must be received by March 1, 2014. Please apply by sending all digital materials to Robert Roth. For more information contact Robert Roth; or Sean O'Connor of National Geographic. The award will be announced at the 2014 AAG meeting in Tampa.
British Cartographic Society
National Geographic New Mapmaker Award
The New Mapmaker Award recognizes the work of college students or new professionals starting a mapping career with a £500 cash prize. Students and professionals worldwide can apply for this award, and applicants do not need to be members of the British Cartographic Society. The deadline is July 30, 2014.
More information and application forms are at the British Cartographic Society website.
Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS)
Student Map Design Competition
National Geographic provides a cash prize and atlases for this map competition that evaluates map design and how a map meets its design objectives. College students can submit maps that are on paper, disc, or online. The deadline is February 1, 2014.
More information, application forms, and past winners are at the CaGIS website.