A map of Alaska created by Senior Geospatial Analyst Greg Fiske garnered two awards—the International Cartographic Association and International Map Industry Association Recognition of Excellence in Cartography, and Cartography Special Interest Group Excellence—at the Esri User Conference in San Diego this week.

Esri is the industry leader in mapping software and the Esri User Conference brought together more than 20,000 geospatial professionals including cartographers, software developers, students, end users, and policymakers. Woodwell Climate has an ongoing partnership with Esri and has attended the conference for more than two decades.

“These awards mean a great deal as the recognition comes from two very highly acknowledged cartographic organizations and the map pool at the Esri User Conference was immense,” Fiske said. “In the case of this map, not only did I share a basemap that we’re using widely in our Permafrost Pathways project, but I also shared a high-level overview of how I created the map and the resources (in the format of data, software, tutorials, and people) needed to do the same anywhere on the planet.”

The map that won the awards shows the topography of Alaska. To the average viewer, it is beautiful, informative, and not overly complicated. But Fiske also created a storymap that breaks down the data layers, and analytical and design steps required to create the map—and it is anything but simple.

Fiske has been creating maps at Woodwell Climate for more than 20 years, and is known among colleagues—at the Center and across the mapping community—for his analytical skill, creativity and artistry, and dedication to quality.

“People are drawn to a beautiful map,” Fiske said. “Putting our work on a map takes advantage of that scenario and gives us an opportunity to spotlight our research.”