April 03, 2012.

Hello everyone! We’re really excited about how the NACIS Atlas of Design is shaping up, and we wanted to share an update on our progress with all of you now that we’ve reached the next major phase of the project.


The response to our invitation for submissions was far beyond our expectations. We had hoped to receive something in the neighborhood of fifty or sixty maps. Instead, we received 150 entries from over 100 authors. This is an amazing response, and a lot of you helped along the way by not only submitting, but also by spreading the word far and wide. With such a huge pool to choose from, the final selections for the Atlas of Design are going to represent the best work in cartography today.

We’ve also been impressed by how far our invitation for submissions went around the world. We want this publication to eventually become a benchmark for cartography globally, but we’re an organization based in in the United States. We knew it would take some time, possibly years, to make Atlas of Design part of the world conversation on maps, and not just a regional publication. But we’re already a lot farther toward that goal than we had planned by this point. Over 20% of our submitters reside outside of the United States, and 9 countries are represented in our submission pool. We’ve taken a great first step down the road toward a global presence, and we’re going to build on that in future volumes.

Judging This April the judging phase began. We’ve got a diverse panel of judges, eight great people drawn from academia, government, private design firms, and the media. They’ll spend a month looking over each submission and giving it a score, which our team will use in determining which maps will make it into the final print. It’s a tough task – we have far more high-quality submissions than we can print, and whittling things down is unfortunately necessary.

That’s the big news at the moment. We’re excited to see how things are shaping up, and we hope you are, too! We’ll keep you posted as everything comes together in the coming months. Thanks for following our progress, and for helping us achieve the level of success we’ve already had.