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  • Writer's pictureAyeisha Sheldon

#30DayMapChallenge 2021

So, last November I participated in the #30DayMapChallenge on twitter! An awesome initiative put together by Topi Tjukanov, you can read more about it here. Basically it is an informal challenge, on twitter, where the geospatial/ carto/ mapping/ earth community comes together to map and post maps they've made!

I was really excited for this challenge as I love map making, cartography and expanding my skills - while also learning from others! The challenge, is well a challenge and I really did try my best to bang out a map everyday but towards the end I think you'll see that it got the best of me.

Throughout this post you'll find all of the maps I attempted and a few I had already done which I passed off under a few categories, but all in good fun! Let me know which if your favourite and check out my twitter to see other people's comments! See you in the November, 2022 for another round of fun!

I have tried to include as much information as possible re the data sources, but if you want know anything please don't hesitate to reach out to me :)


Day 1 - Points

Leading up to the map challenge I had SO many ideas for day 1, but at the last moment I stumbled upon this public toilet dataset and decided to map out little poos!

Data: Administrative boundaries and of course the public toilet data both from the Australian Government (sites linked).


Day 2 - Lines

One of the least most exciting places in Australia - our nations capital .. Canberra.

Data: Road lines from OpenStreetMap and the Bathymetry of Lake Burley Griffin is from the ACT Government GeoHub.


Day 3 - Polygons

Data: Protected area data from World Resource Institute and country boundaries from Natural Earth


Day 4 - Hexagons

This map was heavily inspired by the board game Catan and this LinkedIn post where a few guys tried to turn the USA into a Catan board. I decided to put my own twist on this map and use real satellite imagery as the base hexagons. I really like how it turned out!

Data: Land cover dataset from Geoscience Australia and background images from Sentinel 2, EO Browser


Day 5 - Data Challenge 1: OSM

Did you know that Bangkok has the longest city name ever? Literally it has over 20 words. It's also a city that I used to live in, so it holds a very special place in my heart!

Data: OSM and Thai boundaries from HDX.


Day 6 - Red

I wanted to do a theme map for red, blue and green and ended up doing food maps, using FAO production data. I am thinking of making these food maps a series in the future, because I just love them so much!

Data: FAOstat, 2019 and world boundaries from Natural Earth


Day 7 - Green

Data: FAOstat, 2019 and world boundaries from Natural Earth


Day 8 - Blue

Couldn't find a suitable blue food for today's map, so I settled on mapping out the Great Barrier reef from a different perspective.

Data: Coral reef data from UNEP-WCMC and ESRI imagery basemap.


Day 9 - Monochrome


Day 10 - Raster

Cartography theme inspired by John Nelson. Data from Swiss Topo and ESRI imagery basemap.


Day 11 - 3D

Data: 3D buildings and high resolution imagery from Swiss Topo


Day 12 - Population

Data: Population data from WorldPop


Day 13 - Data challenge Natural Earth

On this day I really dove into the abyss of data that is Natural Earth and put together this map of Scandinavia - turned out pretty nice I think!

Data: All data from Natural Earth


Day 14 - Map with a new tool

Today I explored Aeriaload and did a few things, didn't have an image to produce but it was good fun - I want to explore it more.

You can check out a really good (free) tutorial here.

Day 15 - Map made without a computer

Well this one is quite self explanatory, my dinner but map style! 🇮🇳


Day 16 - Urban / rural

This day was a repost of a map I previously made for my blog post, you can check the full thing out here!

Map made with ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud.


Day 17 - Land

Data: Land Cover from ESA Copernicus. Following John Nelson’s theme and tutorial, which you can check out here!


Day 18 - Water

Data: Water bodies and streams from Swiss Topo and ESRI topographic basemap.


Day 19 - Island(s)

Cartography style used is following this brilliant John Nelson Youtube map making tutorial.

Data: Ocean boundaries from Natural Earth, basemap imagery and hillshade from ESRI.


Day 20 - Movement

Today's map was also a play on another very fun board game, Ticket to ride! I wanted to show my travel movements through Europe in a fun way! How do you think I went?!

Data: Boundaries from Natural Earth. Map made with ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud.


Day 21 - Elevation

This map was really fun as I did a joint collaboration with Maria Ruehringer. She is from Austria and I live in Switzerland, so we decided to do a border map - where we both made a map on each side of the border then joined the two maps together. We wanted to be able to portray both our cartographic skills, without the maps being too different but also not exactly the same.

I really love how it turned out and it was a lot of fun to collab together, since we were both doing the map challenge and also both had recently connected in the Women In Geospatial + Mentorship Programme.

Data: OpenStreetMap, Swiss Topo,


Day 23 - Data challenge - GHSL

Data: Human settlement layer from GHSL and country boundaries from Natural Earth.


Day 29 - Null

Data: Country boundaries and ocean from Natural Earth


Day 30 - Meta Mapping data (blog post)

Day 30 is this VERY long over due blog post, but here is it! I hope you enjoyed seeing my maps created during the challenge and can find inspiration from some of them.

I can't wait for the challenge in 2022!

Also if you were wondering these are the days I missed:

Day 22 - Boundaries

Day 24 - Historial Map

Day 25 - Interactive Map

Day 26 - Choropleth map

Day 27 - Heatmap

Day 28 - The earth is not flat

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