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Map the Bay: 2021 Mapmaking Contest


2021 Map Contest Welcome


Welcome to our second annual mapmaking contest!

We invite students to create their own maps--both real and imagined--of the Bay Area.

Note these important dates:

  • March 1, 2021: Contest Opens, 12 pm [noon]
  • April 9, 2021: Contest Closes at midnight
  • April 9 - 22, 2021: Judging; Selection of Finalists
  • April 23 at 5 PM: Public Voting Begins
  • April 24: CalDay!
  • April 23 - May 1, 2021: Public voting 
  • May 5, 2021: Winners announced!

Follow for updates!


Follow these TWO steps to enter the contest:



  • Both hand-drawn and computer-assisted maps are permitted. Your hand-drawn map must be flat (2-dimensional) and no larger than 11×17 inches in its print form. 
  • Maps should depict real or imagined places that represent the Bay Area.
  • Depending on the number of entries, maps may be grouped by grade for judging (ex. K-5, 6-8, 9-12, College). 
  • Please make a scan or take a photograph of your entry. If photographing, try for even lighting. Accepted formats: PDF, JPEG.
  • Maps created via computer software must be exported and submitted as a PDF or JPEG, minimum resolution 300 dpi.
  • Please include a title on your map, and save your file as LastName_FirstName_FirstWordofTitle.pdf OR LastName_FirstName_FirstWordofTitle.jpg
  • Note: only your first name will appear on our finalist site associated with your map. Therefore don't sign or print your full name on the map itself.
  • Your map should be original, creative, and unassisted.
  • K-5 students are welcome to use the blank template offered.
  • The contest is limited to students (K-12, + College) who attend school or reside in one of the nine Bay Area Counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma).
  • Students under 18 must have parent or guardian permission to participate.
  • A separate UCB Staff Category is now open -- Staff are welcome to participate, but are not eligible for prizes.
  • Past entrants are welcome to submit a new map to this year's contest.
  • One entry per person.



A panel of UC Berkeley judges will review all eligible entries received and select the finalists.



The selected finalists will be notified by April 23, 2021.



The finalists will be featured on the Earth Sciences & Map Library's Contest website & Map the Bay Virtual Exhibit, from April 24, 2021 to May 1, 2021. Through a combination of online community voting and local judging, the winning maps will be selected. Limit one (1) vote per person during the online voting period. Voting begins on April 24 and ends at midnight on May 1. The creators of the winning maps will be notified by May 5.



Four winning entrants will receive a $50 gift card. Maps will also be featured in the Map the Bay online exhibit and be reproduced on print-from-home postcards.


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

Q.      Which will be more likely to win: maps made on computers or hand-drawn maps?
A.      The final winner will be chosen by online voting. There will be finalists in each category so digital maps and hand-drawn maps are not necessarily in competition. The finalists will be chosen by committee based on aesthetics (how nice they look) and originality (creativity and uniqueness). 

Q.      Can I make a map of the whole world? What about outer space?
A.      While we encourage creativity, your map must have a Bay Area connection. It can be realistic. It can be idealistic. It can represent some version of your street, your favorite park, your city, or the entire Bay Area, but it needs to have a local connection.

Q.      Do you have any example maps?

A.      Our contest is modeled after the Osher Library Mapmaking Contest. See their site for examples of past maps: or consult our 2020 contest results at:

Q.     Can I use any art material to make my map, so long as it is flat?
A.      You can use any medium, but because we cannot accept original drawn maps at this time, you will need to scan or photograph your final product so make sure whatever you use will come through clearly in an image.

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 design software like GIMP or Adobe Photoshop, or digital map software like QGIS or ArcGIS Online. See for suggestions.

Q.       Who counts as a student?
A.       All students who attend Bay Area K-12 institutions, as well as college students enrolled at Bay Area based institutions (community college, university) are all eligible.



Email with questions.

2021 Contest Results

Congratulations to our 2021 winners and finalists!

See the results of the 2021 Student Mapmaking Contest on the "Mapping the Bay" virtual exhibit page.


Blank Map of SF Bay Area

K-5 students, need help getting started?

Click, print & color this:


Entries that do not comply with the contest rules and submission requirements will be disqualified. Non-winning entrants will not be individually notified of the results. Only one UC Berkeley Earth Sciences & Map Library Mapmaking Contest entry per student per year will be accepted. The decisions of the UC Berkeley Earth Sciences & Map Library and the Judges are final. Relatives of judges are not eligible. The UC Berkeley Earth Sciences & Map Library has the right to use the first name and school of any UC Berkeley Earth Sciences & Map Library Mapmaking Contest participant, without compensation to administer and promote the Contest, and retains ownership of all entries and may copy, modify, distribute and publicly display them.