Cartographies of Change Paper Competition

(formerly Honors Student Paper Competition)

New for the AAG 2021 annual meeting, the Cartographies of Change Paper Competition supports the Cartography Specialty Group’s (CSG) ongoing efforts to bring attention to cartographic work that seeks to dismantle systems of oppression and contribute to positive social change.

Students planning to attend the Annual Meeting of the AAG are invited to submit abstracts to the Cartographies of Change Paper Competition. From these, the CSG Awards Committee selects finalists who are invited to submit full papers and deliver their papers at the CSG Cartographies of Change Special Session.

The student with the first place paper is awarded a $300 prize (intended to cover conference registration fees plus some travel expenses) and is recognized at the AAG Awards Banquet. The student author of the second place paper receives a $200 prize.

All finalists are encouraged to expand and refine their papers into full articles for consideration of publication in Cartographic Perspectives (and CP’s $1350 student paper prize). Note that the $1350 CP student paper prize is administered by the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) and not the CSG (see bottom of for more information).

Application Deadline

Abstract submission deadlines coincide with AAG Abstract submission deadlines (usually near the end of October). Finalists are notified within a month of the abstract deadline, and final papers are due a month before the annual meeting.


The competition is open to students at all academic levels. The presenting author must be the first author on the paper and must be enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year institution; co-authorship with faculty advisors is allowed. Applicants must be members of the CSG.

Abstracts and written papers are judged by the CSG Awards Committee on originality, potential contribution to the fields of Cartography and Geovisualization, constructive and appropriate consideration of the work’s implications for dismantling systems of oppression and contributing to positive social and/or environmental change, appropriate use of empirical methods, and written composition. In addition to applied cartographic research, we also welcome papers on theoretical, conceptual, and methodological developments in Cartography and Geovisualization. However, all papers should include a discussion of how their results and/or methods may contribute to positive social and/or environmental change. This discussion should focus on the work’s potential to disrupt and destabilize systems of oppression and unjust power relationships (either within the cartographic discipline or in society more broadly). The oral presentations of papers during the Special Session are judged on professional delivery, organization, clarity, and appropriate use of graphics. Judging will take into account the academic level of the student.

The CSG reserves the right to not offer an award if the papers submitted are not of acceptable quality.

Application Process

To be considered for the CSG Cartographies of Change Paper Competition, applicants first must register for the AAG Conference and then upload an abstract of the paper under the Paper Presentation category. Abstracts should conform to the format required by the AAG. Once submitted, the abstract and associated PIN number should be emailed to the current Academic Directors of the CSG (see “Membership — Current Officers”).

Finalists in the CSG Cartographies of Change Paper Competition must submit a paper describing their research in the format used by Cartographic Perspectives (see in “About — Author Guidelines — Instructions to Authors”). Include a cover page with your name, academic affiliation, faculty advisor, mailing address, phone number, and email address. The second page of the paper should include only the title of the paper and the paper abstract, as submitted for consideration in the CSG Cartographies of Change Paper Competition. The content of the paper should begin on the third page.

The final written paper should be emailed to the current Academic Directors of the CSG as a Microsoft Word document. The content of the paper — excluding references, figures, and tables — cannot exceed 6,000 words and may be shorter if appropriate.

Past Winners