Cover of Atlas in a Day": Migration
Cover of Atlas in a Day”: Migration

Atlas in a Day: Migration is the result of a challenge by Guerrilla Cartography to research and design an atlas in 24 hours.

On Saturday, October 5, 2019, more than 50 guerrilla cartographers gathered, in person and online, to collaborate in producing an atlas in a single day on the subject of migration. Researching and designing an atlas on a complex theme in the span of 24 hours is indeed a challenge. This volume of maps is a concrete demonstration of the power of crowdsourcing and collaboration.

The subject of the atlas—migration, broadly defined—was only announced to the Guerrilla Cartography Collaborative via live stream at 9 pm PDT, Friday night. The following day, some 35 collaborators met at Oakstop in downtown Oakland, California, and began sharing ideas and working on their maps. Another 28 challenge participants worked on their maps remotely, representing 19 other locations in four countries. Creating on computers, paper, and boards; using crayons, watercolors, embroidery thread, and other media, the challenge collaborators submitted 43 maps on the theme of migration by the 7:30 pm deadline. A single electronic file was compiled and one rough print on a scrappy printer was attempted by 9 pm, fulfilling the challenge.

We took a little time after to reflect on the maps that were created and then arranged them into a sort of narrative, both graphic and philosophical — choosing just one of the myriad it could be. The final document was published within a week of the challenge.

The maps in this atlas interpret the theme of migration in diverse ways, considering the movements of people, animals, climates, physical materials and cultural artifacts over time and space. Some of them represent the culmination of years of research on a critical topic; others are quick sketches inspired by current events and concerns. Collectively, they add substance and content to one of the most critical issues our planet faces today.

Download Atlas in a Day: Migration as a PDF licensed under Creative Commons. Use and reuse the maps to inspire others with cartography. The atlas was published in October, 2019.

Atlas in a Day Challenge: 24 hours to research, design and print an atlas


The theme of Migration was announced on October 4 at 9pm pacific time. The challenge will end at October 5 at 9pm. pacific time. Submit your Migration map by 7:30 pm pacific time to be sure it is included in the atlas, which will be printed at 9pm.

Schedule of events

Atlas in a Day Challenge launch party: Friday, October 4, 8-10pm PST, Federation Brewing, 420 3rd Street, Oakland, CA

  • The atlas theme will be announced at 9pm pacific time. No RSVP is necessary—just show up! Remote attendees may watch the announcement and lectures via FB livestream.

Atlas in a Day Challenge main event: Saturday, October 5, 9am – 9pm pacific time, Oakstop, 1721 Broadway, Oakland, CA

  • 9:00-10:00am      Welcome: coffee and donuts (provided)
  • 10:00-10:30am    Talk: Diana Negrin, “Represent, Visibilize, Dignify” 
  • 10:30-11:30am    Work time
  • 11:30-12:00pm    Talk: Zach Bleemer, “Data-mining: Accessing geospatial data online” 
  • 12:00-1:00pm      Working lunch (provided)
  • 2:00-2:30pm        Talk: Molly Roy, “Not just a pretty map: How to be an effective visual storyteller” 
  • 2:30-5:30pm        Work time
  • 5:30-6:30pm        Communal dinner (provided)
  • 6:30-7:30pm        Work time
  • 7:30-8:30pm       Atlas compilation
  • 8:30pm        Bart from downtown Oakland to 24-hour FedEx in San Francisco (100 California St.) to print the atlas 
  • 9:00pm        Dive bar celebration! (location TBD)

Map requirements


  • Maps may be computer generated, hand-drawn, sculpted, painted, sewn, crocheted, and by all other mediums. (You will need to digitally capture non-computer maps)
  • Maps should be submitted as high-resolution, rasterized pdfs. (If this is an issue contact us via email.)
  • Maps should be formatted on an 8.5” x 11” PDF. (A4 users should make sure their art is not more than 280mm wide.)
  • Maps and any accompanying text may be any size that fits within 8.5” x 11 and may be placed anywhere on the page.
  • Maps will be printed in landscape orientation.
  • Maps may be in color or black and white. 
  • Include on the map: name of creator(s) and location of creator(s), map title, and data source(s).


  • Maps are due by 7:30pm PST (submit at:
  • All collaborators will receive an atlas in the mail, please include a mailing address.

We will be documenting the Challenge. Here’s some ways to help:

  • Post and share your progress on social using #AtlasInADay and #GuerrillaCartography via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn or others!
  • Livestream part of your creative process and share with us using #AtlasInADay and #GuerrillaCartography
  • Send any questions and share your photos with

Day of event communication channels

  • Remote communication on the day of the event will be through our email:
  • If there are any issues that cannot be resolved through email, we will arrange for phone communication on an as-needed basis.
  • We will be on all of our social channels all day so you may communicate with us through those also.


Join Guerrilla Cartography as we research, design and print an atlas—in only 24 hours! 

Making an atlas can take years of work. Guerrilla Cartography is inviting people from around the world to make an atlas — from start to finish — in one day. An Oakland-based nonprofit cartographic arts organization, Guerrilla Cartography was founded on the idea of disrupting publishing paradigms and building opportunities for collaborative atlasmaking. 

The theme of the atlas challenge will be announced on Friday, October 4 (9 p.m. PST sharp!) at Federation Brewing during the launch celebration, which will be live-streamed on Facebook. Show up or tune in to find out the theme so you can get to work!

On Saturday at 9 a.m. PST, we will meet at Oakstop in Oakland, California, for a day-long mapathon that will feature guest lectures, support with data and design, and a lot of collaborative-working opportunities. Food and beverages will be provided.

We hope you will be there with us but you don’t have to be in Oakland to participate. We encourage guerrilla cells everywhere in the world and will allow digital uploads of maps created that day. But your map does NOT need to be digitally created. We highly encourage the use of all mediums: sketch a map, paint a map, sculpt a map! Just be prepared to capture your map for digital submission.

Finally, we will print the atlas at the end of the 24 hours and everyone who participates will receive one—its scrappy printing is part of the project’s gestalt!

The Atlas in a Day Challenge is open to the public. Donations on a sliding scale are encouraged and appreciated and will allow Guerrilla Cartography to host future events like this. We hope to see you there or online!

If you didn’t reserve your spot above, you can click here to save your spot.