Zar GIS & Story Maps Prize


The Kathleen A. Zar GIS & Story Maps Prize acknowledges the ability of a University of Chicago student in The College to utilize GIS and spatial thinking to develop a digital narrative using Esri's Story Maps applications

The prize organizers welcome submissions that provide spatial insights or narratives from all subjects and perspectives.

First Prize: $1,500

Second Prize: $500

Third Prize: $300

Submission Deadline: April 20, 2017

Guidelines & Eligibility

The Kathleen A. Zar GIS & Story Maps Prize is open to students at the University of Chicago who are actively pursuing an undergraduate degree. Eligibility is not restricted by year of study or concentration.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions can use either Story Maps platforms:

Examples of Story Maps 

No other mapping application is eligible for submission. However, any software, coding language, or web application may be used in the process as long as the submission is entered using the Esri Story Map App templates or AppBuilder.

Only original and unpublished work will be accepted. Submissions based on a student paper or research are welcome.

Any entrant using data collected or resources previously published must cite or link to the sources.

Collaborative works are acceptable. However, one prize will be awarded. Please acknowledge a lead author and contributing authors in the submission form.

A person can be listed as a contributing author on multiple entries, but a person can be listed as a main author only once if submitting multiple entries.

Entries will only be accepted electronically using the Google form on this page.

All entries must be active 30 days after announcement of winner.

Re-submission is welcome. The selection committee may recommend Story Map apps that are not selected for the 1st or 2nd prize for re-submission the following year.

Selection Criteria

Prizes will be awarded to authors who are best able to create a Story Map on a subject matter with a clear and logical story or presentation of data. The selected Story Map must be understandable to the map’s intended audience. However, its function and use must be clear to the non-specialist.

The winning submissions will be selected for the quality of the research conducted, presentation and design, originality, and the overall usability and effectiveness of the Story Map. 

Selection Committee

The panel of judges includes faculty and graduate students from the University of Chicago (representing a broad range of disciplines) as well as a University of Chicago Librarian.

The selection committee reserves the right not to award a prize if no entry is deserving of an award.

Awarding the Prizes

The prizes are distributed to the winners by the University of Chicago Library.

Research Assistance

Students who need assistance in conducting their research can contact Taylor Hixson at or 773-702-7567. Please put "Zar Story Maps Prize" in the subject line.