See the Amazing Kids' Maps That Won a Global Contest

Hundreds of children from 34 countries submitted maps to the bi-annual cartography contest.

The maps submitted this year to the bi-annual Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition range from adorable to masterful. Nearly two hundred finalists from 34 different countries were on display at the annual meeting of the International Cartographic Association in Washington, D.C. last week. The aspiring artists and cartographers are all age 15 or younger, and the youngest is a 3-year-old from Bulgaria. All the winners can be seen in the gallery above.

The theme for the contest this year was “We Love Maps,” which elicited lots of hearts, including one that used a heart-shaped map projection by 12-year-old Colegio Arturo Soria of Spain. The judges couldn’t choose just one map for the creativity award, which is shared this year by 4-year-old Urteja Kardašiute of Lithuania for a heart-warming image of the Earth and Sun holding hands as friends, and 15-year-old Phoebe McClean of New Zealand for a clever commentary on President Trump’s policies.

The Public Award for the most votes while on display during the conference went to Champ Turner, a 15-year-old from Austin, Texas (below).

Each member country of the ICA can choose up to six maps as finalists, which are then judged by an international panel of cartographers at the conference. The competition is named for Barbara Petchenik, an American cartographer who was dedicated to maps related to children’s education. The memorial contest was founded in 1993 and the winning maps are chosen each year by an international panel of members of the International Cartographic Association.

Header: We love maps, by Ioana Larisa Gurita of Romania, age 13. This map won first place in the 13-15 age group. MAP COURTESY INTERNATIONAL CARTOGRAPHIC ASSOCIATION

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay