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Bizarre Map Challenge (BMC)

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Copied from the MAPS-L List. Kinda makes me wish I was back in school...


Dear Colleagues at UCGIS Member Institutions,

I am glad to officially announce this Bizarre Map Challenge (BMC): A Nationwide Map Design Competition. This map design competition is hosted by the National GeoTech Center (http://www.geotechcenter.org/) (funded by National Science Foundation) and San Diego State University. The goal of this event is to promote spatial thinking and geospatial technology awareness in high schools, community colleges, and universities in the United States and to inspire curiosity about geographic patterns and map representation for students and the broader public.

The Award for the 1st prize will be $5000 cash, 2nd prize: $1000 cash, 3rd prize: $600 cash, 4th – 10th prizes: $200 cash for each.

Please help us to announce this competition to your schools and students. If you are teaching GIS or mapping courses this semester, it will be a great opportunity for your students. We will create an official website next week and provide more detail procedures and some download-able flyers for your students. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this event, please email me (mtsou@mail.sdsu.edu) or to the dedicated email address (bmc@geography.sdsu.edu ).


Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou.

Associate Professor | Geography Department San Diego State University,


Bizarre Map Challenge (BMC): A Nationwide Map Design Competition


* March 1st - March 22nd, 2010 : Accepting map entries (on-line form) from the BMC website (URL to be announced on March 1st, 2010)

* April 12, 2010: Announcing the TOP TEN bizarre map challenge design finalists

* April 12 - April 26, 2010: Two week on-line voting on the BMC website

* April 27, 2010: Announcing the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners.

Competition Rules

1. Competition participants must be full-time students in high school, community college, or a university (undergraduate students only) in the United States. The cartographic work and map design must be the riginal work of the entrant.

2. Bizarre, in this competition, refers to maps that are strikingly out of the ordinary. Though all maps must use real-world data, successful entries might employ unusual techniques, illustrate bizarre topics, or exhibit striking patterns. This competition will not accept imaginary maps, hand-drawn maps, or video game maps.

3. All entries must be submitted in a static PDF format (no interactive or animated maps) using the on-line registration form. The complete map should be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches (letter size) with a minimum of half-inch margins. A summary description, 500 words maximum, will also be required at the time of submission. The summary should describe why this map is bizarre, how it was created, the tools used, data sources, coordinate systems, projection methods, etc.

4. Each student can only submit one entry. Each map should be designed and created by one student only (no teamwork).

5. Each student needs to provide one teacher’s contact information (name, email address, school name, phone number, etc).

6. There are two rounds of judging. The first round will be handled by five world-renowned cartographers who will select the TOP TEN entries. Judges will consider a variety of criteria, including but not limited to topics, techniques, and design. Students submitting one of the TOP TEN entries may be asked to supply documents proving their full-time student status. The second round will consist of public voting. The TOP TEN entries will be posted on the competition website with public voting open for two weeks (one vote per person). Entries will be ranked according to the number of votes received by the end of the voting period.

Nat Case

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

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