March Mapness: And the Winners are…

We feel certain that your enthusiasm for these maps helped the Heels make it to Houston. Thank you to everyone who participated in the mapness! We grouped the maps into a handful of categories and came out with five winners, displayed below, along with a description of the map provided to us by the person submitting. Winners, please see Taylor McAdam or another CPJ board member to collect your prize!

  1. Self-Produced, Large Scale

Winner: Jesse Cohn – Jumbled USA

Cohn Map

I like how it plays with scale, and reminds me that things aren’t always as they initially appear. For me, making this map made me look at the unique shape of each state and to consider the geographic and political reasons their borders exist where they do (recommended reading: How the States got their Shapes). I particularly like that when scaled, Illinois almost perfectly fits into Idaho.

2. Self-Produced, Small Scale

Winner: Erin Convery – Delta Roadtrip

Convery_mapI made this map after spending a summer in Mississippi a couple of years ago. I’ve never been great at remembering to take photos, so this was a way for me to remember my time in the Delta. The map shows my travels throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky during the summer. It includes places that you wouldn’t necessarily find on a typical map or in a travel guide but hold important memories for me, plus some places definitely worth visiting for everyone!

Runner-Up: Nate Huvard


I think this map is an excellent example of data visualization because of how much information is contained in it. The map in the background shows areas with poor walkable access to grocery stores with emphasis on low-income areas. In the lowest layer (purple), Chicago’s intense racial segregation is highlighted. Finally, the inset map shows a specific zoomed-in example of what a food desert looks like and what physical and social factors influence how food deserts form. For example, Burnside is surrounded on all sides by railroad tracks and is located in the middle of a high-percentage African-American sector of the city. This information can be viewed holistically to show that the food insecurity is clearly a racial issue in Cook County and hopefully this analysis will inform policy-makers on how and where to improve food access.

3. Historic Map

Winner: Patrick Welch – Europe 1870


Everything about it is just great. The detail is amazing and quite funny.  Ireland is a cat and Turkey is smoking hookah.  The very brief article does a great job explaining everything, so I won’t repeat it here.

Runner-Up: Hannah Reckhow – Catalhoyuk


This wall mural from Catalhoyuk is widely considered to be a map of the settlement and a nearby volcano. The trick to reading it is that the houses are viewed from above (where entrances were) and the volcano is depicted from the side. Considering the ubiquity of birds-eye-view depiction of space in maps, I like how this map depicts space from the point of view that was most relevant to its user(s). (There is no individual to whom it is directly attributed, and the image above is a recreated image not the actual wall painting.)

4. Humor

Winner: Ben Lykins – World Leaders In…


This map is visually and comically appealing. I like how in some cases it highlights products or habits that you do not typically associate with a country. I particularly enjoy that Russia is a leader in Raspberries and Nuclear Warheads. Fantastic.

5. Data Rich

Winner: Hannah Reckhow – Real Time Wind


This is a digital, dynamic map of wind speed and direction that uses real time data. It helps visualize a larger pattern of data and is totally hypnotizing. Made by Point.B Studio.

Runner-Up: John Anagnost – Historical Migration


This map is from the Genographic Project at National Geographic. I think it’s interesting because it shows how amazing humans are at surviving in any environment and how we were able to discover so much while still being in balance with natural systems. I also think it’s cool that the DNA used to create this map has been passed from mother to daughter since humans emerged as a species.

I’m a Tar Heel born, I’m a Tar Heel bred, And when I die I’m a Tar Heel dead. Go get ’em Heels!