UK’s First Mapping Festival 2018

For those who live and work with maps, the UK Mapping Festival was the highlight of the industry calendar for 2018. A three day event celebrating the diversity and depth of making maps hosted by various organisations coming together at London’s ILEC conference centre. The first day was hosted by The Association for Geographic Information (AGI) an industry body for GIS professionals (What is GIS? see link). The second day – which Caroline attended – was hosted by the British Cartographic Society (BCS), an association we are proud to be members of. The final day was hosted by the British Association of Remote Sensing Companies (BARSC).

Red bus chill out zone at the UK Mapping Festival

UK Mapping Festival 2018

There were various workshops and seminars throughout the day showcasing the old, the new and the future of cartography and associated fields. If you get a chance to attend next year’s BCS conference, then you may want to enter your map for an award.

The British Cartographic Society (BCS) Awards

One of the absolute delights of attending the conference was seeing the latest entries for the BCS Awards. The prestigious BCS Awards have been running for over 20 years and aim to celebrate the very best cartographic work and scholarship from around the globe. It also provides an opportunity for cartographers to share their craft with their peers.

Entering the BCS awards

First choose the award that you want to enter. There is a multitude of types of maps and this is the same for the awards. The Stanfords Award is for ‘Best entry for Printed Mapping’ and open to any mapping in the printed form. An ideal showcase for your poster, folded sheet map, atlas, or page in a book. The Stanfords Award comprises a trophy and a certificate, and is run with the support of Stanfords map and travel book store. What a privilege to be recognised by Stanfords.

The newest award category available at the British Cartographic Society Awards is the 3D Award sponsored by Garsdale Design, which celebrates the best in 3D mapping in all forms. There were six entries: two digital submissions (web-mapping) and four physical products. Garsdale Design conceived the idea for the award to encourage and recognise the wide variety of 3D digital mapping (not just from specialist cartographers and GIS people). Some creators do not count themselves as cartographers but are still doing marvellous things with maps that should be acknowledged.

“Surprisingly for an award we conceived of as getting 3D digital entries, we had a number of physical entries which was hard to ignore. People will always like a good physical product or design to handle. This entry for Garsdale ticked a number of boxes by the clever use of technology, to create a beautiful product and after all the definition of cartography is “the science and art” of map making. We had hoped people in the entertainment industry for example might enter, let’s hope next year we have more entries! The first year of the Garsdale Design 3D Mapping Award was a great success with superb entries, we hope next year (yes we want this to be an annual award) will be even better! We’d love to hear from BCS members and non-members about their 3D mapping in any medium using any tool (hardware or software!), please drop us a message.” Elliot Hartley, Managing Director, Garsdale Design.

School children are encouraged to enter the BCS Children’s Map Competition run by the Hydrographic Office. And for students at university, there is the Ian Mumford award with the added bonus of £200 prize money!

Award Entries

The Society encourages excellence in cartography and entries are open to everyone. They encourage people engaged in all aspects of mapping, whether practical, theoretical, commercial, academic and research; if using traditional or innovative techniques. A trip to the BCS Symposium and the award ceremony is a great opportunity to meet your peers from across the country and around the globe.

Here are some of Caroline’s favourite entries from the BCS awards:

UK Mapping Festival 2018 Entry to BCS Awards

Entry to BCS Awards 2018


UK Mapping Festival 2018 Entry to BCS Awards

Entry to BCS Awards 2018


UK Mapping Festival 2018 Entry to BCS Awards

Entry to BCS Awards 2018


The most prestigious award is the overall winner of all the categories. Of all the winners an ultimate winner is selected and receives the British Cartographic Society Bowl and a certificate. This year’s winner was David Kidd for his stunning Multi-Layer Wood Map of Paris. David was the winner of his category – The British Cartographic Society Award & Garsdale Design Award for 3D Mapping.


UK Mapping Festival 2018 Entry to BCS Awards

The overall winner of the BCS Awards 2018


Congratulations to all the winners and look forward to seeing next year’s entires.