#30DayMapChallenge 2021 by Kontur Team

Kontur Inc.
Published in
8 min readNov 30, 2021


How challenging can it be for a geospatial company team to make maps every day during a month?

by Misha Malikin, maps by Kontur team

In 2021 we accepted the 30DayMapChallenge by Topi Tjukanov for the second year in a row.

We had two geospatial data engineers, two UX designers, ten software engineers, a data curation engineer, and a slack channel full of reviewers, advisors, and brainstormers of all kinds… and also product managers, business analysts, QAs, DevOps, a delivery manager, a wildfire expert, an HR and a marketer.
Not that we needed all that for the challenge, but once you get locked into a serious mappers collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

There are not many rules and restrictions except each day has its own topic which can be quite undetailed like points for day 1 or much more meticulous like choropleth map for day 26 and even really disarming like day 15’s map made without using a computer.

Day 1: Points

by Alexander Zapasnik, back-end engineer, and Veranika Rechyts, business analyst

This map became the starting point for us on November, 1 when we found out there are 10 villages named Point in Germany all located around Munich. The same moment when we knew there's no way back and there are lots of more puns to come up with.

Day 2: Lines

by Eugene Okulik, quality assurance engineer

The next map in line was about the longest direct passenger flight currently.

Day 3: Polygons

by Ekaterina Grudinskaya, business analyst

Making some of the maps took quite some time, especially for those of us whose job is not actually map-making. But not as long as takes volcanic land forming depicted on day 3.

Day 4: Hexagons

by Veranika Rechyts, business analyst

Kontur products like Disaster Ninja (https://medium.com/kontur-inc/disaster-ninja-for-hot-ef306405f692) use H3 hexagonal grid for data visualization. Yet showcasing it as the challenge entry would be too easy. Instead, we took a deeper look at wildfires data from Kontur Event Feed and population data from Kontur Population to find how they are related.

Day 5: Data challenge 1: OpenStreetMap

by Yury Kryvashei, wildfire expert

There's no perfect GIS data source around but OpenStreetMap is definitely among the best. Its metadata could be a source of inspiration as well. For the next map, we took a look at editing hours in OpenStreetMap for the past two years. There are always lots of places that need to be mapped or updated on the ever-changing planet.

Day 6: Red

by Alexey Dudov, quality assurance engineer

Normal cartographers would probably think of something nice to put on a map. Disaster management cartographers think of hazards first of all. For day 6 we made a map of areas that are not places of honor.

Day 7: Green

by Yulia Charnukha, HR generalist

Team protection is inherent in the nature of human resource management. It may be the true origin of this map’s idea.

Day 8: Blue

by Anastasia Artyukevich, delivery manager

Kontur has an office in Belarus which is one of 44 landlocked countries. No wonder we tried to figure out if we’d get access to the ocean if all the ice on the planet melted. Spoiler: still no.

Day 9: Monochrome

by Ilya Izrailyan, front-end engineer

The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. No wonder some countries have claims to divide it.

Day 10: Raster

by Pavel Pashagin, software engineer

At times of 30DayMapChallenge our team can resemble fire pockets which spread quite predictably from the first to the last day’s map maker. Wildfire spread patterns are not that easy to depict although we did it for day 10.

Day 11: 3D

by Alexandr Dubinin, front-end engineer

When the first ten maps were gone with the wind it was the right time to visualize the wind energy on a 3D surface.

Day 12: Population

by Yevhen Kyslomed, geospatial data engineer

Population maps. The category never gets old unlike the population in many countries around the world.

Day 13: Data challenge 2: Natural Earth

by Andrei Kucharau, front-end engineer

Hypsometric maps are used to show the elevation but often their colors are quite unnatural and it's easy to misinterpret them.

Day 14: Map with a new tool

by Sergey Dyadyul, UX designer

QGIS is a great open-source GIS tool. Most of our maps for the challenge were made using it, although it might seem not an obvious choice for a designer at first.

Day 15: Map made without using a computer

by Anastasia Artyukevich, delivery manager

Day after day Anastasia takes care Kontur team delivers on time. Could she have known that she would have to deliver food, namely grain and cereals, as a map for day 15?

Day 16: Urban/rural

by Alexander Petrov, geospatial data engineer

The sixteenth day was a turning point in the 30DayMapChallenge when its equator was crossed. 2007 was a turning point for our civilization when the urban population exceeded the rural one.

Day 17: Land

by Kira Stsepina, back-end engineer

No one knows what is under Kontur products' hood better than our back-end engineers. Kira from our back-end team decided to uncover what's under the Antarctic shield as well.

Day 18: Water

by Alexander Rublewski, business analyst

Creating a regular discrete global grid on a sphere is mathematically impossible. Finding the twelve pentagons in the H3 hexagonal grid is much of a simpler task.

Day 19: Island(s)

by Aliaksandra Tsiatserkina, UX designer

A map about Java might have been an obvious choice for one of our back-end engineers, but it was our UX designer Aliaksandra who managed to handle it perfectly.

Day 20: Movement

by Darafei Praliaskouski, head of product

Usually, Darafei handles Kontur product roadmaps and sets the direction of our development. This time he preferred to make a map of wind direction.

Day 21: Elevation

by Marharyta Sashenka, quality assurance engineer, and Anastasia Artyukevich, delivery manager

When quality assurance engineer meets delivery manager at Kontur you would expect results to be high. Literally.

Day 22: Boundaries

by Aliaksandr Kalenik, software engineer

One of the best things about 30DayMapChallenge is that it has almost no boundaries for participants.

Day 23: Data challenge 3: GHSL

by Pavel Rytvinsky, quality assurance engineer

Many mappers first discovered Kontur Population dataset thanks to 30DayMapChallenge and made beautiful maps on various topics using it. For day 23 we decided to show the difference between GHSL and Kontur Population where we've fixed some of its known problems.

Day 24: Historical map

by Polina Krukovich, software engineer

Polina works with Kontur Event Feed containing a massive amount of historical disaster data. It was impossible to resist sharing a part of it.

Day 25: Interactive map

by Sergey Dyadyul, UX designer

Sergey used a great storytelling Mapbox tool to combine the fictional world of Middle-earth and the real-life map of New Zealand: adhoc.kontur.io/twitter/lotr/

Day 26: Choropleth map

by Katsiaryna Lukashenak, product manager

Our remote team is located in different countries which makes it useful to know where in the world it is more likely to get exposed to natural disasters.

Day 27: Heatmap

by Alexander Rublewski, business analyst

Alexander knows well how to turn data into business benefits. It’s amazing how many insights can be learned from population density data alone.

Day 28: The Earth is not flat

by Ilya Semichastnov, back-end engineer

Some perspectives are so unusual to the eye that they let us miss important details, even as huge as continental boundaries. Which we are very sorry about!

Day 29: Null

by Andrei Klopau, data curation engineer

Some settlements disappear because of urbanization shown on the day 16 map. Some have different causes like Soviet collectivization or WWII. All the reasons are valid for the final day map.

It was a great month for our team to discover many new things about our planet and ourselves while doing these maps. Tell us how you like or don't like them, which data sources we could miss occasionally, and subscribe to us on Twitter to get more maps and geospatial news from Kontur!

If you want Kontur team to make a map that makes sense for your initiative or business, check out our solutions portfolio and contact us at hello@kontur.io.



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