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Best Map Award

Journal of Maps journal cover

The History of the Best Map Award

As Journal of Maps has grown since it was first published in 2005 we have established a growing back catalogue of articles, with maps covering many countries and, indeed, planets. From 2008 we have initiated a “Best Map” award to be presented to the single best contribution to the journal in the year it was published. Contributions are judged upon both their academic content and cartographic quality. It is neither the best academic paper nor the best designed map, but a combination of qualities from both areas. The winners of the award will, where financially and technically feasible, see their map published as part of a limited 200 copy print run which will be made available for sale “at cost”.

Please see as follows for the most recent winner of the Best Map Award, and each winning map since the award's inception.


Best Map of 2018

Tree species distribution in the United States Part 1

Rachel Riemann, Barry T. Wilson, Andrew J. Lister, Oren Cook & Sierra Crane-Murdoch

Journal of Maps, Volume 14, 2018 - Issue 2
Published online: 20 Sep 2018

The distribution and local abundance of tree species constitute basic information about our forest ecosystems that is relevant to understanding their ecology, diversity, and relationship to people. The US Forest Service conducts a forest inventory across all forest lands in the United States. We developed geospatial models of forest attributes using this sample-based inventory which make this information available for an even wider variety of applications. From these modeled datasets, we created a series of maps for 24 US states in an effort to connect more people to trees, the datasets, and the scientific research behind them.


Tree species distribution in the United States Part 1
Tree species distribution in the United States Part 1

Best Map of 2017

The award for the 2017 “Best Map” goes to Daniel M. Stephen & Bernhard Jenny. The article is titled: Automated layout of origin–destination flow maps: U.S. county-to-county migration 2009–2013.

Best Map of 2016

The award for the 2016 “Best Map” goes to Bernhard Jenny, Johannes Liem, Bojan Šavrič & William M. Putman. The article is titled: Interactive video maps: A year in the life of Earth's CO2.

Best Map of 2015

The award for the 2015 “Best Map” goes to Vít PásztoAlžběta BrychtováPavel TučekLukáš Marek, and Jaroslav Burian (Palacký University, Czech Republic) for their visualisation of municipalities in the Czech Republic. The article is titled: Using a fuzzy inference system to delimit rural and urban municipalities in the Czech republic in 2010.

Best Map of 2014

The award for the 2014 “Best Map” goes to Jerzy Zasadni (AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków) and Piotr Kłapyta (Jagiellonian University, Kraków) for their paleoglaciological map of the Tatra Mountains. The article is titled: The Tatra Mountains during the Last Glacial Maximum.

Best Map of 2013

The award for the 2013 “Best Map” goes to Fernando Nadal Junqueira VillelaJurandyr Luciano Sanches Ross and Sidneide Manfredini (Federal University of Sao Carlos and University of Sao Paulo) for their geomorphological map of the landscape in Sorocaba County, Sao Paulo, Brazil. The article is titled: Relief-Rock-Soil relationship in the transition of Atlantic Plateau to Peripheral Depression, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Best Map of 2012

The award for the 2012 “Best Map” goes to Maria ZunigaAngel Pueyo and Jose-Luis Calvo (University of Zaragoza) for their mapping of population change across Spain in the 20th Century. The publication is titled: The Spanish population during the twentieth century and beyond.

Best Map of 2011

The award for the 2011 “Best Map” goes to Giedre BeconyteVilmantas Alekna and Inga Rocite (Vilnius University) for their depiction of conflict and terrorism in Europe during the 21 century. The publication is titled: A Map of 21st Century Conflicts in Europe.

Best Map of 2010

The award for the 2010 “Best Map” goes to Donald Lafreniere (University of Western Ontario) and Douglas Rivet (Western Michigan University) for their historical mapping of Sandwich, Ontario, Canada. The publication is titled: Rescaling the Past through Mosaic Historical Cartography.

Best Map of 2009

The award for the 2009 “Best Map” goes to David Evans (Durham University), David Twigg (Loughborough University), Brice Rea (University of Aberdeen) and Chris Orton (Durham University) for their mapping of the Tungnaarjokull (Iceland) glacier landsystem. The publication is titled: Surging glacier Landsystem of Tungnaarjokull, Iceland.

Best Map of 2008

It is with great pleasure that we are able award the 2008 “Best Map” to Eva Sahlin and Neil Glasser (Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University) for their publication titled: Geomorphological map of Cadair Idris, Wales.

Why publish open access?


Open Access (OA) means your research is free to access online as soon as it is published, meaning anyone can read (and cite) your work. Increase readership, impact beyond your field, and retain the copyright to your article.


Submission guidelines

All submitted manuscripts are initially assessed by the Editors, and, if considered appropriate for potential publication in the journal, are peer reviewed by independent, anonymous expert referees. All peer review is single blind and submission is online via ScholarOne Manuscripts.


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