Select a day to focus attention on the power of maps. Organize a series of map-related events to get community members involved directly. Here are some ideas on how to do this.

What is a Map Day?

The main theme for such a day should be to discuss the establishment of national map days, and the further development of a national strategic plan for the creation and the dissemination of geographic information.

Map Days can be organized at the national, local or regional level.

Who organizes a National Map Day?

A good strategy would be that the national committee organises a National Map Day or a cartographic day with invitations to users from different fields such as agriculture, forestry, physical planning, housing, and natural resources.

Who organizes a Local or Regional Map Day?

Potential organisers of local map days are municipalities, universities and schools, museums, archives and libraries. The national committee has to support them with recent and historical maps from the national mapping organisations. Information should also be provided on the cartographic support for future physical and regional planning, and on the manner how maps and geographic information may be used, and whether the data behind the maps can be downloaded for free or for a fee.

What does a Map Day programme consist of?

A ‘map day’ programme may consist of the following parts:

  • Exhibition of recent national maps from the national mapping organisations;
  • Demonstrations of map production and of the use of maps;
  • Local mapping programs for planning and maintenance of infrastructure;
  • Exhibition of historical maps – mainly local ones;
  • Exhibition of Barbara Petchenik Competition children’s map drawings;
  • Activities for children;
  • Short lecture program;
  • Demonstrations of GPS, orienteering and geocaching;
  • Demonstrations of how to overlay old maps on new ones;
  • Map use exercises.

The visitors can follow the exhibitions by themselves, but it would be good to have one organiser available for questions. The demonstrations should not be too long but are to be repeated with intervals.

Program of a Map Day

A Map Day may be organised as one part in the morning, one part in the afternoon and on part in the evening with the same program. Of course, it is plausible to choose one or two alternatives also.

Organizing successful Map Days

Spread the word! Involve the newspapers. Don’t shy away from using social media, such as Facebook.