Ohio schools mapping competitionThe 2021 edition of the "Ohio Schools Mapping Competition" will be the first of this annual event. This exciting statewide opportunity encourages middle (4th-8th grade) and high school (9th-12th grade) students to harness the power of Geographic Information Systems (using free Esri ArcGIS Online software) and get connected with their state by producing an online map that focuses on stories, issues, or ideas that are important to them.

Schools register for the competition here.

Those interested in some early mentoring or have questions about the competition, please email

Ohio 2021 Mapping Competition Timeline
  • 2/15/21: Deadline for schools to sign up for optional mentoring.
  • 2/28/21: Deadline to submit student work for mentoring.
  • 3/30/21: School registration deadline.
  • 4/15/21: Entries due.
  • 4/20/21: State winners announced.

Ohio schools mapping competition timeline

Entry Checklist
  • Students in grades 4-12 are eligible.
  • Teacher/home schooling parents may register on behalf of their school/home school. Afterschool program/extracurricular coordinators, please find a sponsoring teacher or school.
  • Students should follow the competition judging rubric.
  • Student's personally identifiable information must not be shown.
  • Final product is crested using an ArcGIS Online Organization.
  • Final product focuses on a topic within Ohio.
  • Final product is a web app or story map.
  • Each school may submit up to five entries.
  • Submit short URLs for both the details page and display page.
  • Collect and submit permission and release forms.
Ohio Competition Rules and Details
  1. Entrants must be pre-collegiate students registered in grades 4-12, from public schools or nonpublic schools including home schools, under age 19, who have not yet received a high school diploma or equivalent
  2. Entrants must reside and be in school in the state of Ohio.
  3. Students can work singly or in a team of two, but can participate in only one entry. Teams with one student in middle school (gr.4-8) and one in high school (gr.9-12) must be considered as high school.
  4. Entrants may work on the challenge through school, via a club or independently, but entries must be submitted to the state from a recognized school or home school.
  5. Any school or home school program can submit to the state a maximum of five (5) entries total, counting the sum of middle school and high school entries.
  1. Entries must be from an ArcGIS Online Organization account (not a "public account"). Any K12 school (public, non-public or home school) or formal youth club can request for free an ArcGIS School/Club Bundle (includes an ArcGIS Online Organization account).
  2. Entries must be an ArcGIS Online "web app" or "story map".
  3. Entries must focus on content within the state borders. The project may reference data outside the state "for context," but may not extend the focus of the study beyond the state borders. For example, broader patterns of environmental characteristics or demographic movements may be referenced for context, but the focus must be on phenomena within the state.
  4. Upon registration, the entry form will be emailed to the contact person on the School registration form available from
  5. Schools must announce their own internal deadlines, in time to complete judging and provide entries to the State Competition Team by midnight Thursday, April 15, 2021.
  1. The State Competition Team will announce the state award winners by 5 p.m. Eastern time Friday, April 30, 2021.
  2. Esri will announce its awards decision by 5 p.m. Pacific time Monday, June 1, 2021.
  3. Esri will select one HS team and one MS team in the nation, each team consisting of the student(s) and at least one parent/guardian (could be teacher/rep), to attend the Education Summit ant the Esri Users Conference.
  4. Because only the top 1HS+1MS nominees from a state will be considered for the national competition, states should ensure that, if selected, their top nominees are willing and able to accept the award and attend.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  1. Schools should consider issues around exposing PII. See for strategies for minimizing PII. Teachers and club leaders should help students minimize exposure of their own PII and that of others, including in map, image and text.
  2. Entries submitted to Esri for the top national prize (i.e., 1-HS and 1-MS) must agree in advance to expose student names, school names and school city/state (home school students would be identified to closest city/town name).
Judging Criteria

This rubric will be utilized by the state and national competition judges:

Criteria Points Possible

Topic is clearly identified, focuses on content within state borders.


Overall presentation within the app or story map is effective in informing about topic.


Cartography is effective — the composition, visualization and interplay of layers (display scale, transparency, classification, symbolization, popups, charts, tables, labels, filtering, legend appearance) facilitates the viewer's grasp of individual elements of the topic and story.


Data used is appropriate — engages an adequate volume and array of clearly significant elements, does not exclude clearly significant elements, does not include irrelevant elements; of the 20 "total data points possible," 5 are reserved for rewarding the creation, documentation, and inclusion of one's own data [0=none, 1=little/weak, 2=some/modest, 3=satisfactory, 4=much/good, 5=most/excellent] (so an otherwise ideal project that contained no user-generated data could receive at most 15 points).


Geographic analysis (classification, filtering, geoanalysis) is evident, appropriate and effective; the "map product" is not "simply uniform dots/lines/areas on a map" nor "simply pictures."


Documentation in the item details page is clear and complete; all non-original contents (including images) in the presentation/ web app/ story map are appropriately referenced and/or linked so their sources are clear, and original contents are described and/or linked; documentation identifies processes used to analyze the content, plus any persons who assisted in project (including specifying if no one did).



More details and general information:

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