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This guide introduces geospatial tools, datasets, and resources for applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in scholarly and creative work, across the disciplines.

Cal Poly GIS Club - Call for Maps!

The Cal Poly GIS Club is all about mapping and wants to showcase student-made maps and StoryMaps. The 2023 Map Competition will highlight students’ cartographic creativity, and selected work will be displayed on the walls of the Geospatial Technologies Laboratory (26-209D), and online venues. There are two categories for entries:

Join the Cal Poly GIS Club Slack Group


For questions, contact Andrew Fricker 

Map Submission Guidelines

Maps and interactive StoryMaps can be from a GIS class, senior project, thesis, etc. All currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply.  Maps will be reviewed by a panel of faculty/staff, GIS professionals and students.   

  1. Maps submitted should be created by you, within the 2022-2023 academic year.

  2. Up to three submissions per student, all submissions must be submitted to the form by June 11th at midnight:

  3. Name your maps based on the following convention.  Student id # + submission number.  Ex. for three submissions: “12345678_1.pdf, 12345678_2.pdf, 12345678_3.pdf”.  

  4. For print maps, submit PDF format, 300 dpi resolution, using standard ARCH or ANSI page sizes (we want to print these for display, make them to print sharp) 

  1. For interactive maps, submit a public URL to your online StoryMap or interactive map. 

  1. These maps should stand alone without further explanation.  All maps should have the appropriate map elements whenever possible, including but not limited to legend, north arrow, neat line, inset map (to show setting if that’s not obvious), scale bar, title, etc.  You are encouraged to combine types of data visualization (add a graph or scatterplot to add impact and explain the map). 

  1. Map content and data sources should be properly attributed.   

  1. Map content and authorship should follow the Cal Poly Student Academic Rights and Responsibilities. 

Map Review Rubric

  1. Impact and creativity.  Does the map engage the viewer with interesting content?  - (20 points) 

  2. Does the map stand alone to convey information?  Is it easy to understand and interpret? - (15 points) 

  3. Is the map effectively designed and aesthetically pleasing? (20 points) 

  4. Title (descriptive and brief) (5 points) 

  5. Legend (includes the necessary and removes unnecessary information) - (10 points) 

  6. Scale Bar/inset map (use even numbers like 200 km, not 170 km) - (10 points) 

  7. Appropriate use of colors, contrast, labels and symbology (legible to color blind viewers) - (10 points) 

  8. Effective and intentional use of space (incorporates space as part of the map design) - (10 points) 

Past Map Submissions