Children Map the World: Celebrating International Map Year


In the project My Place in Today’s World, children from 38 countries around the globe drew their own unique maps about where they lived and how they interacted with the world around them. Maps are more than just a picture that shows locations and geographical features; it is also an incredible insight into how the mapmaker sees the world around them.

The maps were submitted into a competition hosted by the International Cartographic Association. The competition accepts maps drawn by children from countries around the world who are aged 5-15. The last contest in 2015 was entitled, My Place in Today’s World.


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Winning entry of the 2015 competition: “The world in our hands” by Pan Sin Yi (15), Malaysia

3rd place in >12 years group of the 2015 competition: “The world in our hands” by Pan Sin Yi (15), Malaysia

As with any art project with few rules, there is bound to be a huge variety of different kinds of maps created by young, inquiring minds. Some maps were highly skilled, and others were adorable in their attention to the details that made the lives of each child special.

Europe is my home by Maria Piatkowska, age 12.

Europe is my home by Maria Piatkowska, age 12.

The map-making software company Esri published a book of the winners of each map category. The book has a section of map favorites, in addition to maps that were submitted to the competition for previous years.

The International Cartographic Association started the map-making competition in 1993, to honor the American cartographer Barbara Petchenik.  Visit the Archive of the Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition to browse through past submissions to this children’s map competition.

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