Mapmaking Contest

NOTE FOR EDUCATORS

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THE VOTES ARE IN!

View All 2021 Contest Submissions

Congratulations to our 2021 winners:


First Place

Endangered Species Archipelago by Asher F. from Brunswick (Brunswick Jr. High, Mrs. Sullivan’s Class)
Wins $500 & an extra $500 for Mrs. Sullivan’s class


Second Place

People of the Dawnland: Wabanaki Tribes of the Northeast Coast by Anna B. from Harpswell (Homeschooled, Curtis Memorial Library)
Wins $250 & an extra $250 for Curtis Memorial Library


Third Place

The Famous Foods of Maineland by Aubriana P. from Limerick (Line Elementary, Mrs. Fossett’s Class)
Wins $100 & an extra $100 for Mrs. Fossett’s class


Judge’s Best in Grade Prizes

(1st, 2nd, 3rd Place overall winners not eligible)


Fourth Grade

Judges 1st Place Choice for 4th Grade – Wins $100
The Calico by Sophie B. from Cape Elizabeth (Pond Cove Elementary, Mrs. Ham’s Class)

Judges 2nd Place Choice for 4th Grade – wins a copy of The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan
Mt. Abram by Sadie R. from Cape Elizabeth (Pond Cove Elementary, Mrs. Ham’s Class)

Judges 3rd Place Choice for 4th Grade – wins a copy of The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan
Ashford Castle, Ireland by Evangeline J. from Portland (Homeschooled, Portland Public Library)


Fifth Grade

Judges 1st Place Choice for 5th Grade – Wins $100
The Blue Moon Islands by Maya B. from Gray (Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences, Mr. Erde’s Class)

Judges 2nd Place Choice for 5th Grade – wins a copy of The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan
Origins of Historic American Women by Lilli K. from Scarborough (Wentworth School, Ms. Ash-Cuthbert’s Class)

Judges 3rd Place Choice for 5th Grade – wins a copy of The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan
Sundew’s Island by Grant P. from South Berwick (Marshwood Great Works, Mrs. Girouard’s Class)


Sixth Grade

Judges 1st Place Choice for 6th Grade – Wins $100
Sea Glass Isles by Teddy B. from Cape Elizabeth (Cape Elizabeth Middle, Ms. Caruso’s Class)

Judges 2nd Place Choice for 6th Grade – wins a copy of The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan
Owlery by Finn Rose G. from Cape Elizabeth (Cape Elizabeth Middle, Mr. Giampetruzzi’s Class)

Judges 3rd Place Choice for 6th Grade – wins a copy of The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan
The Island Nation of Xaks by Owen S. from Gorham (Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences, Ms. Loupe’s Class)


Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education Mapmaking Contest!

The 2021 Top Twelve Maps:

Voting ended Saturday, May 15, at 12:00pm Eastern Time.

“The Blue Moon Islands” by Maya B. from Gray (Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences, Mr. Erde’s class, 5th Grade)
View Full Size
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“The Famous Foods of Maineland” by Aubriana P. from Limerick (Line Elementary, Mrs. Fossett’s class, 4th Grade)
View Full Size
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“Origins of Historic American Women” by Lilli K. from Scarborough (Wentworth School, Ms. Ash-Cuthbert’s class, 5th Grade)
View Full Size
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“Sea Glass Isles” by Teddy B. from Cape Elizabeth (Cape Elizabeth Middle, Ms. Caruso’s class, 6th Grade)
View Full Size
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“Japan” by Princessia P. from Springvale (Holy Cross School, Mrs. Halvorsen’s class, 5th Grade)
View Full Size
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“People of the Dawnland: Wabanaki Tribes of the Northeast Coast” by Anna B. from Harpswell (Curtis Memorial Library, Homeschool, 6th Grade)
View Full Size
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“Owlery” by Finn Rose G. from Cape Elizabeth (Cape Elizabeth Middle, Mr. Giampetruzzi’s class, 6th Grade)
View Full Size
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“Sundew’s Island” by Grant P. from South Berwick (Marshwood Great Works, Mrs. Girouard’s class, 5th Grade)
View Full Size
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“Spacing Out” by Crowley R. from Cape Elizabeth (Holy Cross School, Mrs. Halvorsen’s class, 6th Grade)
View Full Size
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“Map of Pyrrhia” by Delia B. from Greene (Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences, Ms. Loupe’s class, 6th Grade)
View Full Size
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“The Island Nation of Xaks” by Owen S. from Gorham (Fiddlehead School of Arts & Sciences, Ms. Loupe’s class, 6th Grade)
View Full Size
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“Endangered Species Archipelago” by Asher F. from Brunswick (Brunswick Jr. High, M. Sullivan’s class, 6th Grade)
View Full Size
map image


Important Dates:

  • Saturday, March 6, 2021Optional: Illustrated Mapmaking Workshop* for mapmaking tips and tricks. Register at Eventbrite
  • Monday, April 25, 2021 – we strongly encourage that maps are postmarked by this date.
  • Friday, April 30, 2021 – all submissions must be delivered by this date.
  • Saturday, May 8, 2021 – 12 finalists announced, online voting begins at 12:00pm.
  • Saturday, May 15, 2021 – online voting ends, and winner is revealed the next day!

*For Teachers: you may schedule a free mapmaking workshop during school hours for your students (groups of 10-35) by form or by email.


Important Things to Know:

  • Your map must be flat (2-dimensional) and no larger than 11×17 inches. Beware: A lot of construction paper is 18×12 inches, which is too large for our scanner.
  • Your map may be created on or with a computer as long as the work is all yours.
  • If you submit by mail, please make a photocopy if you would like to keep one, because the maps will not be mailed back. You may also submit a copy and keep the original, but your photocopy must be high-quality. If the quality of the photocopy isn’t good, it may hurt your chances of getting chosen for the Top Twelve.
  • If you choose to submit a scan of your map by email (renee.keul@maine.edu), the scan must be high-quality and appropriately cropped. No photographs please. Photographs have uneven lighting and if the lens axis is not exactly perpendicular to the map, the map will be distorted, so please use an actual scanner if you want to submit by email. If you do not have a scanner at home, you can scan your map at Staples or FedEx for a small cost ($0.49).
  • Your map should be original, creative, and unassisted.
  • Your map may depict any real or imaginary place, but should be illustrated (in other words, use pictures).
  • Your completed Entry Release Form should be attached to the back side of the map.
  • If you are home-schooled, include the name of the public library that you use the most on your entry release form.
  • Still have questions? Email K-12 Outreach Coordinator, Renee Keul, at renee.keul@maine.edu.

How to Submit Your Map:

Option 1: Mail your map and Entry Release Form to:
     Osher Map Library & Smith Center for Cartographic Education
     (Attn: Mapmaking Contest)
     P.O. Box 9301
     Portland, Maine 04104

Option 2: email a high quality scan to: renee.keul@maine.edu. Please note that the scan must be high-quality and appropriately cropped. No photographs please, as photographs have uneven lighting and if the lens axis is not exactly perpendicular to the map, the map will be distorted.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q.      Can I work with another student to make my map?
A.      Sorry, no. All the work needs to be your own!

Q.      How are maps judged?
A.      Every year, we bring together an independent panel of educators, artists, and cartographers to help OML staff with the judging of our annual mapmaking contest. All submissions are reviewed by the panel, and after extensive discussion, the panel selects 12 finalists to go on to the online community voting round. Maps are judged blindly; judges do not see names or schools. This year, because we have maps being sent in by 4th, 5th, and 6th Graders, we have a new prize category: “Best in Grade.” The three “Best in Grade” maps will be selected by the judging panel. It is possible that a map selected as “Best in Grade” will not be among the Top Twelve Finalists.

Q.      Which will be more likely to win: maps made on computers or hand-drawn maps?
A.      Remember that the final winner will be chosen by online voting. However, the 12 finalists will be chosen by committee based on aesthetics (how nice they look) and originality (creativity and uniqueness). Maps made on the computer can be more mathematically precise, but that will not matter for this contest. Use whatever method allows you to create the most unique and attractive map you can!

Q.      Can I use any art material to make my map, so long as it is flat?
A.      You can use any standard art medium, but if you use something that might by messy, such as chalk pastels, you need to spray it with fixative. We will be scanning the finalist maps for online voting, and we can’t risk damaging our scanner!

Q.      Can I put printed images on a hand-drawn map?
A.      You can create images on the computer, print them off, and paste them on your map if you would like. However, if you’re using images you get online, a lot of that is protected by copyright laws, and we could theoretically get in trouble for displaying it on our website. For that reason, all of the illustrations should be your own.

Q.      When you say that my map can be created on a computer, are you talking about a certain program?
A.      There are multiple programs that can be used to design maps, but we were specifically thinking of software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). GIMP is free online (www.gimp.org), but it can be pretty tricky to use at first. If you want to try it, you will probably need to spend a few hours with the tutorials (www.gimp.org/tutorials).

Q.      Can an illustrated map use words?
A.      Yes! In fact, most illustrated maps DO use words.

See Entries from 2020
See Entries from 2019
See Entries from 2018
See Entries from 2017
See Entries from 2016


Questions? Email K-12 Outreach Coordinator, Renee Keul, at renee.keul@maine.edu.