2035 marks the target date for the first human landing on Mars as planned by NASA. In 2015, 47 landing sites or Exploration Zones (EZ), each 200 km in diameter, have been proposed by the planetary science community. These should be mapped in high detail in the forthcoming years to enable proper comparison of the 47 sites and the selection of the 1 finalist. The ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography opened a Call for Maps for visualizing the best landing site.


This contest is open to students, young professional cartographers, and graphic artists in any country of the world.

The project is to select one candidate landing site and design an actual map that you envision will be useful in surface operations. We ask that you do not create simply a geologic map, but rather a product that can be used by the astronauts during their approximately one-year long mission within the Exploration Zone. This requires creativity, and it is also useful to have a good knowledge of surface features, surface hazards, science goals and the use of the proper cartographic tools.

The display and format of the maps entirely up to the participants. All submitted maps must be accompanied by a short paper (in the English language). Deadline for the submission of maps and papers is September 1, 2016.

Please find all details about the competition on the following website:

The contest is part of the International Map Year activities and organized by the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography

– Henrik I Hargitai
Chair of the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography