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National Geographic is celebrating Geography Awareness Week from November 13 to 17, 2023. As a pioneering organization in geographic storytelling and education, National Geographic is highlighting its reimagined technology of National Geographic MapMaker in partnership with Esri and recognizing today’s inspiring explorers, including NorthStar of GIS co-founder Clinton Johnson.

At the heart of Geography Awareness Week is the belief that geography is more than just maps – it’s a way of looking at the world, understanding why things are where they are, and acknowledging how cultural, societal, and political interactions impact our lives. Through geographic storytelling and education, National Geographic aims to deepen our knowledge of geography and foster a global community that is aware of geospatial issues.

National Geographic MapMaker

National Geographic has collaborated with Esri to present a reimagined version of National Geographic MapMaker. Educators can take their classrooms on a virtual journey across the world, diving into the research of National Geographic Explorers. This curated collection of resources and activities centers around the Society’s impact areas – Wildlife, Ocean, Land, Human Ingenuity, and Human Histories and Cultures. The enhanced MapMaker is more powerful and engaging but also free, intuitive, and accessible to anyone without the need for a login.

Meet Explorers

Geography is inherent to every Explorer’s work, and National Geographic welcomes Explorers from diverse backgrounds, reflecting the richness of our world. Discover how these inspiring Explorers utilize geographic approaches to address some of the globe’s most pressing challenges in their everyday work. Their stories serve as a testament to the power of geography in identifying connections and inspiring action.

One featured profile includes Clinton Johnson of NorthStar of GIS, who centers his work on Black representation in the geospatial industry and promoting equitable geographic approaches to framing today’s modern world. Learn more about Johnson’s and nine other Explorer’s incredible work by clicking the link below.



NorthStar is a community group working to increase representation, belonging, and inclusion of people of African descent in GIS.