Opening up the Map

Call for maps

Vatican Map Gallery via Steven Feldman

The map retains its role as a vital component in sharing geographical ideas and displaying patterns and processes. There has never been a more vibrant time for map-making as more maps are made by more people. The traditional definition of cartography as a blend of art, science and technology is being re-defined as mobile, online and open worlds collide creating an exciting new environment and new mapping. The annual gathering of Open Source Geospatial Developers, Users and Leaders provides a unique opportunity to showcase your own innovative work by helping build our map exhibit. The Opening up the Map exhibit celebrates the power of maps and highlights the very best of the geospatial world through a gallery of your own work.

We invite contributions to the Opening up the Map exhibit so that we can build an exciting and vibrant gallery of the very best in current mapping. This exhibit will not only demonstrate the work of delegates but act as a reference point for the current state of mapping more widely. We encourage all delegates to share one example of their work and help us create a cartographic record of the FOSS4G 2013 conference.

Contributing to Opening up the Map couldn’t be simpler: make a map…share it online! Details of the format and mechanism to share your work are provided below but there is only one simple rule: some element of the map-making process should involve open source technology or data.

Making your map

You are free to make your map using whatever combination of technologies and data you choose.  Your map can be the result of a commercial venture or a personal challenge. The map exhibit will feature work in digital form so the output might be a PDF or a fully interactive web map application.  You will be asked to provide a short description of your map to include a statement of the methods, software and data you used in its design and production and you are also eligible to enter your map into one of the the various competition categories…yes, there’s prizes up for grabs! The only other criteria for submitting your work is that it should have been created during 2011-2013.

Submitting your map

The submission form will open on June 17th and the closing date for submissions is 31st July giving you 6 weeks to pull together the projects you’ve been working with over the last year.

Update: we’ve extended the deadline to the 6th September! Now there’s no excuse!

You are encouraged to submit your application via the FOSS4G web site where you will be taken through the on-line submissions process with questions such as:

  • Your name
  • Your organization
  • Additional map authors
  • Statement on the map design and production process to include comments about what software and data you used, noting in particular what open source technologies or data you used.
  • Competition category
  • Map format: If your map is a PDF then you will be required to upload it (details provided during the submission process). If you are submitting a web map application then you will be required to input a URL at which the map will be hosted. Please note, web map applications will be required to be visible from the time of submission for a period of at least 1 year.

Submit here

Competition categories

There are several competition categories and whilst there is an opt-out available should you choose not to enter the competition, we would encourage participation as a way of establishing the very best of the work submitted so that it can be recognized as such. Competition categories are:

  • Best open source software integration awarded to the map which displays the most innovative and purposeful use of open source software. The map need not be constructed entirely from open source software or, indeed, from a wide variety. Judges will be looking for sound choice, application and innovation.
  • Best open source data integration awarded to the map which makes the most innovative use of open source data. the map need not use a wide variety of sources or be entirely composed of open data sources but the open source component must be well marshaled, purposeful and a core component of the final map.
  • Best static map (digital display) awarded to the map which, in digital form, presents a well composed static display of a theme of the author’s choice. The map should be complete and function without additional material. This category might also be used for those who wish to submit a digital version of a printed map.
  • Best web map application awarded to the map which makes the most innovative use of web map application platforms including online or mobile. The map should make use of emerging mapping paradigms including interaction, multiscale and as a portal to further information where appropriate.
  • Most unique map awarded to, quite simply, the map that judges find to be the most unique in terms of theme, design or function.
  • Best overall cartographic display awarded to the map that displays the most impressive cartography. This will be a map that goes beyond the basics and exhibits excellence in aspects of cartographic design and production.
  • Best anti-map map will be awarded to the map that displays the least map-like form and function yet manages to perfectly capture and communicate the intended geospatial message. This category is intended to encourage diversity in style and approach because not every geospatial theme needs a map…

Each category will be judged by a panel of independent experts during the conference, led by Dr Kenneth Field Editor of The Cartographic Journal and Chair of the ICA Map Design Commission. We are delighted for the assistance given by the British Cartographic Society in making this possible. The winners of each category will be announced during the conference closing plenary session. Additionally, the winners of each category will compete for a Best in Show overall prize.

There will also be a People’s map prize. Delegates at the conference will be encouraged to explore the map exhibit during the conference and vote for their favorite map irrespective of categories.  This will be an award by the people, for the people in the spirit of Opening up the Map.

The Opening up the Map exhibit

During the conference, submitted maps will be displayed in several ways. A digital map gallery will showcase work from all participants and delegates will be encouraged to visit the map exhibit and explore the entries. Maps will also be displayed throughout the venue on large format projected displays as well as be used in between sessions.  Your maps will gain considerable exposure; what better way to network is there than being able to say “hey…that’s my map!” and start a conversation.

Submit here

It’s All Over!
Thanks to everyone who helped make FOSS4G 2013 a success!