Children’s Map Competition

Celebrating the creativity, imagination, artistry and wisdom of child mapmakers!

The Barbara Petchenik Competition is a biennial map drawing competition for children. It was created by the International Cartographic Association in 1993 as a memorial for Barbara Petchenik, a past Vice president of the ICA and cartographer who had a lifelong interest in maps for children. The aim of the contest is to promote the creative representation of the world in graphic form by children.

The competition is organized every two years. National winners are selected to represent each participating ICA member country. Each country sends their top 6 map finalists which are exhibited during the International Cartographic Conference (ICC). The international winners are selected by an expert panel of cartographers at the ICC.

The theme for the 2021 competition: “A Map of My Future World”

The deadline for the participation in the United States National Competition is June 15, 2021.

Postmark entries by June 10, 2021 to meet the June 15, 2021, deadline!, to make sure that you deliver your map entries to us in time!

Entries can be nominated in four age groups: under 6 years, 6-8 years, 9-12 years, and 13-15 years. The top 6 winning map drawings selected during the United States National Competition in July 2021 and submitted to the international competition which is currently scheduled for December 2021.

An international jury will select the best entries from each age group. Additionally, there will be prize issued based on a public vote by the conference participants, as well as a Creativity Award issued by the ICA Commission on Art and Cartography.

For more detailed information about the competition, please check out the resources available on this page and/or on the ICA website of the International Cartographic Association, the Commission on Cartography and Children, or their Facebook profile.

If you are interested in using children maps in your context, e.g. with publications, we would like to encourage you to contact us.  The map drawings made by children in the previous competitions can be found in the “Archive of the Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition” website, maintained by the Carleton University Library.