Little Pictures of climate competition 2023

help make a big difference with a Little Picture

a competition for creative visionaries

help us transform decades of satellite climate data to compelling, impactful "Little Pictures" that spark awareness and drive action.

submit your own data-driven Little Picture and get the chance to display it at the UN COP28 climate conference. We'll also invite you to an "expenses paid" VIP tour of the ESA data-visualisation suite at our ESRIN Facility, Frascati, Italy.

ten runners up will l get the chance to display your creative data visualisation skills on our Little Picture gallery (with judges commendations).

join us in making a big difference with Little Pictures of climate.

*** a recent presentation at the WRCP Open Science Conference ***


what do you have to do?

what's in it for you - prizes?

the winner will

  • have their Little Picture displayed on ESA’s booth at the UN COP28 climate conference in the UAE (30 Nov-12 Dec) to help raise awareness of climate change and the role of satellites in strengthening scientific understanding and to address climate change.
  • be invited to take an expenses-paid VIP tour (up to 2,000 euro) of ESA’s Earth observation data-visualisation suite – the phi experience – located at ESA's ESRIN facility Frascati, Italy (we encourage the winner to opt for the most sustainable way of getting to ESRIN)
  • have their Little Picture entry added to our online Little Pictures gallery, along with our judging panel's commendation

ten runners up will

who can enter?

the competition is open to nationals of nationals of ESA, EUMETSAT and ECMWF Member, Cooperating and Associate States and EU member state from professional visualisation experts, scientists, educators, journalists to keen hobbyists and budding first-timers (T&Cs apply) and attendees to the WCRP Open Science Conference, Kigali.

how to enter

  1. choose from our collections of climate datasets you want to visualise
  2. create your Little Picture using your visualisation tool of choice
  3. complete and submit the competition entry form (now closed) including an upload of your Little Picture file or its URL
  4. we’ll let all participants know of the result by the end of November.

competition start and end dates

entries can be submitted from 1 September - 24:00 CET 20 November (now closed)

what climate data can I use?

the aim of this competition is to create a visualisation with a clear climate message (that for example illustrates climate trends, variability over seasonal, annual or decadal scale), using data and information available from ESA, ECMWF and EUMETSAT.

for your Little Picture we require that you use data provided from the following sources:

all data is free, open and available.

judging criteria

our judging panel will consider the following criteria when reviewing and shortlisting submissions:

  • clarity of message: Does the Little Picture have a clear message that uses climate data from ESA, ECMWF and/or EUMETSAT to create an impactful visual (40% weighting)
  • design aesthetic: Is the Little Picture beautiful, celebrating aesthetic design? (30% weighting)
  • novelty & innovation: Is the Little Picture innovative and creative, celebrating novel formats and design approaches? (20% weighting)
  • accessibility: Does the Little Picture make use of inclusive design decisions to aid accessibility, and consider equity in the representation of different people or groups? (10% weighting)

judging panel

our judging panel comprises the Head of ESA Climate Office, Earth Observation data-visualisation experts from ESA, EUMETSAT and ECMWF, prominent data journalist from der Spiegel, Dr. Matthias Stahl and the father of #showyourstripes leading climate scientist, Prof Ed Hawkins.

competition rules

please read the full terms and conditions here and privacy notice here

  • one entry per person
  • you must be over 18 to enter (family/group entries are allowed but the person posting the entry must be over 18, and the top prize is only valid for adults over 18)
  • entries are open from 1 September 2023 until midnight CET on 19 November 2023
  • entries should be submitted at the competition entry form
  • entries should take the form of a data-driven image (accepted file types include: doc, jpeg, jpg, pdf, png, tif, heic) of less than 2Mb, or a URL to a hosted data visualisation, a short title and a brief description of the Little Picture including the message that is being conveyed, the data used data and the method(s) adopted to create the Little Picture. Sources should be also cited.
  • only adults over 18 can be in any images/videos used. Anyone in the image/video must have given their consent
  • in order to be considered for the winning entries you must submit your entry via the form, confirming your agreement with the privacy notice
  • the competition is open to nationals of ESA, EUMETSAT and ECMWF Member, Cooperating and Associate States and EU member states (EXCEPT staff of ESA, EUMETSAT and ECMWF, its suppliers, its contractors, and members of the immediate families or households)
  • entries must not have inappropriate content, which is considered libellous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, abusive, in violation of copyright laws or unacceptable. If you are submitting a drink, it must not contain any alcohol. Users shall remain solely responsible for their content. You will be disqualified if your content is considered inappropriate in any way by the judges.
  • there will be one overall winner and up to ten runners up
  • the winner and runners up will be selected and informed in the third week of November
  • the runners up will have their Little Picture Entry added to our gallery
  • the names, geolocation, and submissions of any participant may be shared in an article published on and and associated social media promotion. You can review and confirm your agreement with the privacy notice via the entry form. By entering the competition, you acknowledge you are aware of the existence of potential risk that personal data is shared by these social media platforms to companies in countries without an adequate level of protection.
  • prizes are non-negotiable. There is no cash or other alternative prize for either the runners up or overall winner.
  • ESA will make all reasonable efforts to contact the winners of the contest but does not accept any responsibility if the winner does not respond or is not able to receive the prize. ESA will not be responsible for entries that are lost, for example as a result of any equipment failure, technical malfunction, systems, satellite, network, server, computer hardware or software failure of any kind even if occurring on the side of ESA.
  • entries will be judged by the ESA Little Picture judging Panel. The panel’s decision is final and no correspondence shall be entered into to discuss the final winner.
  • if you have any questions, please ask us via Twitter using the #ESAlittlePic hashtag.
  • prior to posting their submission, it is the Applicant’s responsibility to obtain any intellectual property rights also from any third party to the extent it is necessary to assign the intellectual property rights on the proposed submission to ESA should the Applicant’s submission be selected as a winning one. As such, the Applicant hereby guarantees that they hold all transferable rights on their proposed submission and that such submission does not infringe any third parties’ rights.

What to expect if you win the top prize:

  • the winner will have their Little Picture entry added to our gallery. The Little Picture will also be displayed on ESA’s booth at the UN’s COP28 climate conference to help raise awareness of climate change and the role of satellites in strengthening scientific understanding and to address climate change.
  • you will be invited to have a VIP tour of ESA’s phi-experience, its Earth observation data-visualisation suite in Frascati, Italy (The top winner must be age 18 or above). The tour will include the opportunity to meet ESA’s data visualisation experts during this day to find out more about their work. There will be a dedicated programme announced nearer the time.
  • you will book your own travel and accommodation and you will be refunded the cost up to 2000 Euros after the event (not on the day), upon presentation of travel and/or accommodation booking receipts. You will be asked to provide your bank account details to receive the reimbursement.
  • you will need a valid passport to enter the ESA establishment.
  • in case of COVID-19 pandemic concerns, we may need to reduce or cancel the activities at short notice. We recommend making flexible travel arrangements, as ESA cannot accept any liability for refunds.

Disclaimer: The rules may be updated or added to without notice, reflecting any questions we receive to clarify rules. Dates may change due to unforeseen events that are out of our control. The competition is run on a best-effort basis.