Now accepting submissions to LMEC’s Cartography Challenges

ArticleSubmit your cartographic work for a chance at prize money & exhibition in the LMEC’s digital collections!

October 20, 2022
290 words / 2 minutes

Cartography Challenges

As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting researchers and designers who work at the intersection of geography and cartography, we’re excited to announce a new initiative at the Map Center: Cartography Challenges!

In each Cartography Challenge, we’ll invite mapmakers, cartographers, and designers to submit their work for a chance at $200 in prize money and the opportunity to be featured in our digital collections. The Map Center will provide a dataset, a topic, and a couple of rules; the rest is up to you.

Inaugural Challenge: “No Choropleth, No Problem”

Our inaugural cartography challenge—“No Choropleth, No Problem”—asks for a creative visualization of immigration in the Greater Boston area that uses anything except a choropleth map.

There are a couple of reasons that we’ve set up our first Challenge in this way. First, the most up-to-date ACS 5-year estimates were released in March of this year. We’d love to see some maps about immigration that draw on this recent data.

Second, most of the modern immigration maps in the Map Center’s digital collections are choropleth maps. This isn’t a bad thing, per se, but we’re cognizant that choropleth maps aren’t perfect. They have a tendency to generalize areas that shouldn’t be generalized, and they aren’t great at accounting for density. That’s why, in this Challenge, we need your help de-choroplething our collections and imagining some other ways of representing immigration in Greater Boston. We want to see maps that move: flow maps, cartograms, dot density, something else entirely.

Submissions are due December 19, 2022. Check out the Cartography Challenges page to learn more about this initiative, including where to download the required data. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly if you have any questions.

Happy mapping!

Our articles are always free

You’ll never hit a paywall or be asked to subscribe to read our free articles. No matter who you are, our articles are free to read—in class, at home, on the train, or wherever you like. In fact, you can even reuse them under a Creative Commons CC BY-ND 2.0 license.