Mati Codes
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Dec. 7, 2021


I took part in a 30-day challenge to create a map every day for the month of November. Here is a compilation of the work that I did and some thoughts on the experience.

What is #30DayMapChallenge?

The idea behind the #30DayMapChallenge is to create a map each day in the month of November in response to a different theme per day. There are no restrictions on tools, technology, or data. You can learn more about the challenge at the #30DayMapChallenge home page. Here is an overview of the themes for 2021:


Why did I participate?

I set out to learn something new and have some fun. The challenge looked like a good way to practice mapmaking in both 2D and 3D. It also started right after the release of ArcGIS Pro 2.9 so I thought it would be a good opportunity to showcase for the community some of the new features we had worked on for that release. I couldn't find the time to participate in all 30 days, but I was surprised to see that I created 16 maps by the end of it. Here's a reel of the maps I created:

What went well

  1. I got a lot of new experience during the challenge with a variety of tools.
    1. Past tools: ArcGIS Pro, Blender
    2. New tools: Campaign Cartographer 3, Aerialod
    3. Games: Carcassonne, Isle of Skye, Cities: Skylines, Cartographers
  2. I helped showcase Animated Symbols, Scene Effects, and Layer Blends in ArcGIS Pro.
  3. I tried out workflows in ArcGIS Pro that I hadn't tried before.
  4. I learned more about GIS and cartography.
  5. I experimented with new data sources.
  6. I used Blender geometry nodes to bring in the elevation height map which I think worked a lot better than plain old displacement modifier
  7. I connected more with the GIS community on Twitter.
  8. I made 16 new maps!

What could be improved

  1. I think it would help to keep a log of interesting data and ideas throughout the year to prep for #30DayMapChallenge. When the challenge started and throughout, I looked ahead at themes for other days to try to plan ahead, but I feel like I spent a lot of time just thinking of interesting maps and searching for data that I could have spent on actually creating.
  2. I should remember to think about what projections to use for particular maps.
  3. I'd like to improve my Blender GIS workflows for next time. I've mostly only imported elevation maps into Blender and it'd be cool to include other data.

Closing thoughts

Overall, it was a really great experience and I'm looking forward to participating again next year. If you have any questions about any of the maps that I made, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @maticodes



blender, arcgis pro, cartography, mapping, 3d