2020 Gift Guide For the GIS Person in Your Life

Caitlin Dempsey


Looking for a gift for your favorite GIS person? Here’s a list of geo-related suggestions for a range of budgets.

GeoHipster Calendar

The annual GeoHipster calendar is the only calendar made by GIS professionals for GIS professionals. The GeoHipster calendar contains hand selected maps submitted by the geospatial community.  

The 2021 GeoHipster calendar features cartography from:

Kurt Adams & June Lei (January), Evelyn Uuemaa (February), Dan Fourquet (March), Barry Rowlingson (April), U. Kälin (May), Michele Tobias (June), Ron Halliday (July), Owen Powell (August), Kate Berg (September), Pete King (October), Milana Glebova & Nikita Slavin (November), Sophia Parafina (December), Zoey Armstrong (Back Cover), and Valters Žeižis (Cover).

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You can learn more about the 2021 calendar on GeoHipster and order your copy from Lulu – $15.99

Cover for the 2021 GeoHipster Calendar
Cover for the 2021 GeoHipster Calendar


Check out these recently published GIS books:

GIS Cartography, Third Edition

Gretchen Petersen’s best-selling book about map design theory and techniques got a revamp this year. The soon-to-be published (November 25, 2020). From Gretchen:

The third edition of the best-seller GIS Cartography: A Guide to Effective Map Design will be available at the end of November, 2020. The book offers a comprehensive guide to making maps today, from static to digital and from paper to the device. Along with its updated coverage of classic topics like creativity, colors, fonts, and layouts, it has brand-new advice on ethics, hazard and climate mapping, algorithmic labels, thematic map types, the latest projections and datums, and over 70 new illustrations.

Buy: GIS Cartography – $130.00 (Amazon affiliate link)

Atlas of Design, Volume 5

The latest compendium of cartography from NACIS contains ” 31 beautiful and inspiring mapsfrom cartographers all around the world, each accompanied by a short essay from the cartographer(s).” Published by the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS), members can get 25% off.

Atlas of Design, Volume 5 – $25.00

Atlas of Design, Volume 5

Women and GIS, Volume Two

Esri release a second volume featuring women geospatial professionals this past year. From Esri, the book shares “how 30 women in many different STEM fields applied themselves, overcame obstacles, and used maps, analysis, imagery, and geographic information systems (GIS) to contribute to their professions and the world. ”

Women and GIS, Volume 2: Stars of Spatial Science – $16.30 (affiliate link)

Women in GIS book, volume 2

Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro 2.6

Esri’s workbook is an excellent way to learn the basics of ArcGIS Pro. If you’ve been wanting to learn more about this desktop software, this self-guide workbook is a place to start.

From Esri:

Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro 2.6 introduces the basic tools and capabilities of ArcGIS Pro through practical project workflows that demonstrate best practices for productivity. Explore spatial relationships, building a geodatabase, 3D GIS, project presentation, and more. Learn how to navigate ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online by visualizing, querying, creating, editing, analyzing, and presenting geospatial data in both 2D and 3D environments. Using figures to show each step, Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro 2.6 demystifies complicated process like developing a geoprocessing model, using Python to write a script tool , and the creation of space-time cubes. Cartographic techniques for both web and physical maps are included.

Buy: Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro 2.6 Third Edition – $61.66 (affiliate link)

ArcGIS Pro workbook from Esri

Geo Wear

Map Socks

Back in stock! This limited run of map socks offered by MapScaping is a set of three geo-themed patterns:

  • City streets in a dusty dark blue and mint.
  • Simple, cool elevation lines in suttle green colors.
  • Topographic design in red wine and mint.

Order: Map Socks (3 pairs) – $30.00

Map socks from MapScaping

GeoHipster Face Masks

GeoHipster offers a geospatial themed map with the site’s logo on Redbubble – $10 each or $8 when you buy for four or more.

United Beers of America Map Mask

A portion of the sales from masks are being donated to the non-profit Medshare. Those those GISers missing being able to participate in GeoBeer meetups, this United Beers of America map mask might bring some joy.

United Beers of America map mask – $9.50

United Beers of America map mask.  Threadless.
United Beers of America map mask. Threadless.

GDAL T-shirt

The gift recipient can truly map nerd out with this Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) t-shirt while you support a good cause. All profit from shirt sales will be donated to The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

GDAL T-shirt – $24.99

GDAL t-shirt

NACIS T-Shirts

Available in a range of fun designs and sizes for women, men, and children, all profit from sales of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) t-shirts go to support the initiatives of the organization.

NACIS Apparel Shop – $20 – $25

NACIS t-shirts

Owl Map T-Shirt

Threadless, a company with a focus on using ethically sourced materials offers a range of map-themed t-shirts and masks. This owl map t-shirt is particularly appealing to me (offered in both men and women’s fit with an option for either a slim or loose fitting style). It also comes as a print offered in various sizes.

Owl Map T-Shirt (Men and Women sizes) – $10 – $24

Owl Map t-shirt from Threadless
Owl Map t-shirt from Threadless


Topo Glasses

North Drinkware makes topographic-themed glasses, coasters, blankets, and paper goods based on models from actual GIS data. The Oregon-based company uses USGS topo data to recreate iconic profiles of mountains and from six states: Oregon, California, Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, and Vermont.

Topo Drinkware – $48.00 each

Urban Map Glass

Select from a list of major U.S. cities for tumblers that are etched with that city’s street grid. The map glasses are designed by Boston-based designer Brian Johnson. The glasses are made in Ohio and etched in New Hampshire. Shipping restricted to U.S. addresses only.

Buy: Urban Map Glass – $16.00 each

Austin Map Glass

Map Cookie Cutters

With the holidays being a fun time to make cookies, a map cookie cutter can make a great small gift or stocking stuffer. Here are some options.

Ann Clark Cookie Cutters USA Map Cookie Cutter, 4″ – $6.99 (affiliate link)

US Map-shaped cookie cutters

Globe Cookie Cutter With Stencil Set – $9.00 (affiliate link)

Globe cookie cutter

State Shaped Custom Cookie Cutter – $2.50 – $5.50 (various sizes)

US states map cookie cutters

Continent Cookie Cutter Set – $28.65

Continent cookie cutter set

Need a Very Last-Minute GIS Gift Idea?

If you’ve run out of time and want something that can be instantly available here are a couple of ideas:

Buy a GIS eBook

Digital versions of books can be instantly sent to the intended buyer making them excellent last-minute gifts. All of the books on this gift guide have digital options. You can browse online book seller sites like Amazon or BookShop (affiliate links) for ideas.

GIS Philanthropy

Make a donation in the name of your gift recipient to support the efforts of the various geospatial humanization organizations and open source efforts out there.

Some worthy organizations to donate to are:

Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links to products. When you buy something through our retail links, we earn an affiliate commission.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.