International Geography Olympiad

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For the competition run by National Geographic previously called the "International Geography Olympiad", see National Geographic World Championship.
Logo of the iGeO

The International Geography Olympiad (iGeO) is an annual competition for the best 16 to 19 year old geography students from National Geography Olympiads. The competition consists of three parts: a written test, a multimedia test and a substantial field work exercise. iGeO tests the abilities of every participants in spatial patterns and processes. It is about frontiers, centers and peripheries, about tourists, terrorists and refugees, about trade of food, clothes, drugs and digital data, about population growth, El Niño, tsunamis and earthquakes, etc. The International Geography Olympiad is organised by the International Geographical Union (IGU) Olympiad Task Force.

Since 2012, the competition has been held annually, rather than biennially.


During the 1994 Congress of the International Geographical Union (IGU) in Prague, people from Poland and the Netherlands launched the idea of an International Geography Competition (iGeo) or Olympiad for students between 15 and 19 years of age. The first one was held in 1996 in The Hague, Netherlands, with five participating countries. The participant count grew to 24 countries with the 2008 competition in Carthage, Tunisia.

At the most recent iGeo, held in Kraków, Poland in August 2014, there were 36 participating countries. Thailand, Argentina, Armenia and Switzerland also had representatives present as official observers, with an aim to participate in future Olympiads. The 2015 iGeo will be held in Moscow and Tver in Russia and the 2016 iGeo will be held in Beijing, China.


Aims of the International Geography Olympiad

  • To promote geography.
  • To stimulate understanding between young people.
  • To stimulate a higher quality of school geography worldwide.

Host Countries and Champions[edit]

Year Host country Host city Champion
2014  Poland Kraków  USA James Mullen
2013  Japan Kyoto  Singapore Daniel Wong
2012  Germany Cologne  Singapore Samuel Chua
2010  Taiwan Taipei
2008  Tunisia Carthage
2006  Australia Brisbane  Poland Jacek Próchniak
2004  Poland Gdańsk
2002  South Africa Durban
2000  South Korea Seoul  Poland Adam Biliski
1998  Portugal Lisbon
1996  Netherlands The Hague  Belgium Steven Pattheeuws