Map Salon Rules

The judging criteria presented here have been adapted from the ever-evolving NSS Convention Cartographic Salon criteria and the judging standards of the SERA (Southeastern Regional Association, NSS) map salon. Download the TSA map judging criteria here.

1) All maps must be in the hands of the Salon Chair by 10:00 a.m on the Saturday of Convention.  If you can't bring your maps to convention, e-mail the TSA Map Salon Coordinator to make arrangements to mail them.

2) All maps submitted must be of Texas caves, or drafted by Texas cavers. Texas cavers are those whose primary residence has been Texas at some time during the previous year. Cartographers can enter as many maps as they want. Maps need not be of the entire cave (i.e. detail maps of cave sections are eligible). Caves need not be completely surveyed for a map of the cave to be eligible.

3) All maps must have been made in the past year (since the last Convention). Significant modifications or additions made to older maps in that time may also be submitted.

4) Maps that have won past awards at either the TSA or NSS Conventions are not eligible for entry.

5) Final categories depend on the number of entries, but should include:

  • Caves under 100 m
  • Caves over 100 m
  • First-time Cartographer.

The first-time cartographer category is to encourage beginning cartographers, and is aimed at those whom have never entered a map salon before. It is not for skilled cartographers who just never took the time to enter before this. Maps may not be entered in multiple categories.

6) Judging will be objective (based on mandatory elements of good cave maps, and drafting quality) and subjective (quality points awarded for innovative representations, balance and layout, visual impact, etc.).  Completed score sheets with comments will be given to the entrants at the end of the Convention.

7) Prizes will be determined by the number of entrants and categories. There is no fee to enter maps, and the maps remain the property of the entrant. However, the editors of The TEXAS CAVER will probably want to publish the winning maps in upcoming issues.

8) Ribbons are awarded for First, Second, and Third place maps, as well as Honorable Mention. All ribbons do not have to be awarded in each category if the number of submissions is low and the scoring does not suggest awards. The highest-scored map will also be awarded Best of Show, in addition to the prize in its individual category.