Judging Criteria

A panel of GIS professionals and educators will use the rubric below to determine the point value awarded to each submitted story map. There is a possible total of 100 points. This same rubric should be used to judge the maps at the school level to determine the best five to submit. (A pdf copy of the rubric can be accessed at bottom of this page.)

Design/Judging Criteria

  1. Entries should be analytical in nature, map-centric rather than photo-centric.
  2. Entries must be visible without requiring a login. Entries engaging "premium data" (login required, such as Living Atlas) must set up the display to permit access without needing a login. See helpful note.
  3. Entries must be "original work by students," but may use data generated by outside persons or institutions, within guidelines of "fair use." (Students are encouraged to use appropriate professionally generated data, but the integration, treatment, and presentation must be original.)
  4. Entries must provide two links in "short URL" format (e.g. http://arcg.is/1A2b3xyz), one linking to the item details page and one linking to the display page.
  5. The rubric for judging the state map submissions is based on the national scoring rubric. The rubric will apply to all entries regardless of grade band. (100 points)

Topic (5 points): The topic is clearly stated and celebrates an aspect of the Illinois Bicentennial. Story maps should focus on interesting/ significant historical events, trends or changes related to  topics such as immigration, agriculture, environment, education, transportation and government within the borders of Illinois.

Map Presentation (10 points): The student has effectively used the story map format to tell an Illinois Bicentennial geographic story.

Cartography (20 points): The basemaps, layers and views used are extremely effective in presenting all the critical elements of the topic and story.

Data (15 points): The data selected is appropriate to tell the story, includes the most important elements, does not leave out any obviously important elements, and does not include irrelevant elements.

Student Created Data (5 points): Five points are set aside to specifically reward students who create important data for their story map. Data created by the student should be documented on the Details page. Points awarded from 0 to 5 based the significance of the data created.

Geographic Analysis (20 points): The student effectively used at least one type of geographic analysis to present the story.  Here are some possible types of analysis:

  • Classification: Data is presented using some form of classification such as population density, median income, etc.
  • Symbolization: The data has been symbolized by shape, color or size.
  • Filtering: Data has been filtered to show specific characteristics.
  • Geoanalysis: The geographical distribution of the data has been analyzed and the pattern explained.

Documentation (25 points): Documentation in the item Details page is clear and complete:

  • All non-original contents (images, videos, text) in the story map are appropriately referenced and/or linked.
  • Original contents are described and/or linked.
  • Documentation identifies processes used to analyze the content.
  • All persons who assisted in project are identified (including specifying if no one did).


Student Name: ________________________________________________    Grade: ___________________


Teacher: ________________________________


Map Title: _________________________________________________________________________________________________


Judging Category Scoring Score
Map Topic: 5 points 4 - 5 = Excellent       2 - 3 = Satisfactory       1 = Incomplete

0 = component is missing

Map Presentation: 10 points 7 - 10 = Excellent     4 - 6 = Satisfactory       1 - 3 = Incomplete

0 = component is missing

Cartography: 20 points 14 - 20 = Excellent    7 - 13 = Satisfactory     1 - 6 Incomplete

0 = component is missing

Data: 15 points 11 - 15 Excellent        6 - 10 Satisfactory       1 - 5 = Incomplete

0 = component is missing

Student Data: 5 points 4 - 5 = Excellent        2 - 3 = Satisfactory       1 = Incomplete

0 = component is missing

Geographic Analysis: 20 points 14 - 20 = Excellent     7 - 13 = Satisfactory     1 - 6 Incomplete

0 = component is missing

Documentation: 25 points 17 - 25 = Excellent      9 - 16 = Satisfactory     1 - 8 = Incomplete

0 = component is missing

  Total Points  

Illinois Judging Rubric: https://thinkgeospatial.education/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/IllinoisJudgingRubric.pdf