International Geography Olympiad
The International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) is an annual competition for 16- to 19-year-old geography students from all over the world. Students chosen to represent their countries are some of the best, chosen from thousands of students who participate enthusiastically in their own National Geography Olympiads. iGeo tests the abilities of every participant in spatial patterns and processes. The iGeo consists of three parts: a written test, a multimedia test and a substantial fieldwork exercise requiring observation, leading to cartographic representation and geographical analysis. The programme also includes poster presentations by teams, cultural exchanges, and time for students to get to know their fellow students and explore the host city.
The International Geography Olympiad is organised by the International Geographical Union (IGU) Olympiad Task Force, who produce tests with reference to the local organisers and the international board.
After the first iGeo in 1996, it was recommended that the competition was held biennially. Due to the competition growing in popularity, since 2012 the competition has been held annually, rather than biennially, as is the case with the other large International Science Olympiads.
History of competition and national success
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.
Before 2012, the International Science Olympiads were held every two years, and some regional geography Olympiads were held during intervening years. These include the Asia Pacific Regional Geography Olympiads (APRGO), which were held in 2007 (Hsinchu, Taiwan), 2009 (Tsukuba, Japan), and 2011 (Merida, Mexico), and the Central European Regional Geography Olympiads (CERIGEO). Since 2013, the International Geography Olympiad, in concordance with the other Olympiads, has been held on a yearly basis.
At the most recent iGeo, held in Hong Kong between July and August 2019, there were 43 participating countries.
Member countries and regions
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- Sri Lanka
- United Kingdom
- United States
The names used are the standard names officially used by the International Geographical Union, based on the roster list for the 2017 International Geography Olympiad in Belgrade.
|Number||Year||Host country||Host city||Individual Olympiad Champion||Best National Team||2nd National Team||3rd National Team||Nations||Participants|
|1||1996||Netherlands||The Hague|| Belgium
|3||2000||South Korea||Seoul|| Poland
|4||2002||South Africa||Durban|| Romania
Barbu Ion Alexandru
Barbu Ion Alexandru
|15||2018||Canada||Quebec City|| Russia
|16||2019||Hong Kong||Hong Kong||—||Indonesia||USA||United Kingdom||43||166|
Best nations by podium finishes (all time)
|Place||National Team||1st, 2nd, 3rd||Years Champions (Teams Participating)||Years Runners Up (Teams)||Years 3rd Place (Teams)|
|1st||Poland||7, 1, 1||1996 (5), 1998 (5), 2000 (13), 2004 (12), 2006 (23), 2015 (40), 2017 (41)||2002 (12)||2012 (31)|
|2nd||Romania||4, 3, 2||2002 (12), 2008 (24), 2013 (32), 2018 (43)||2012 (31), 2015 (40), 2017 (41)||2006 (23), 2014 (36)|
|3rd||Singapore||3, 2, 1||2010 (27), 2012 (31), 2014 (36)||2016 (45), 2018 (43)||2013 (32)|
|4th||Australia||1, 2, 1||2016 (45)||2010 (27), 2014 (36)||2008 (24)|
|5th||Estonia||0, 3, 0||—||2004 (12), 2006 (23), 2008 (24)||—|
|6th||Slovenia||0, 2, 0||—||1996 (5), 1998 (5)||—|
|7th (tied)||Croatia||0, 1, 0||—||2013 (32)||—|
|7th (tied)||Netherlands||0, 1, 0||—||2000 (13)||—|
|9th (tied)||Belgium||0, 0, 2||—||—||1996 (5), 1998 (5)|
|9th (tied)||USA||0, 0, 2||—||—||2017 (41), 2018 (43)|
|11th (tied)||Thailand||0, 0, 1||—||—||2016 (45)|
|11th (tied)||Taiwan||0, 0, 1||—||—||2015 (40)|
|11th (tied)||Belarus||0, 0, 1||—||—||2002 (12)|
|11th (tied)||South Korea||0, 0, 1||—||—||2000 (13)|
Most national individual victories (All time)
|Place||Nation||Wins||World Champions Produced (Year)|
|1st (tied)||Poland||4||Jacek Próchniak (2006), Maciej Hermanowicz (2004), Adam Biliski (2000), Katarzyna Kwiecińska (1998)|
|1st (tied)||Romania||4||Victor Vescu (2017), Barbu Ion Alexandru (2010, 2008), Florin Olteanu (2002)|
|3rd||Singapore||2||Daniel Wong (2013), Samuel Chua (2012)|
|4th (tied)||Thailand||1||Wuttipat Kiratipaisarl (2016)|
|4th (tied)||Taiwan||1||Chang-Chin Wang (2015)|
|4th (tied)||USA||1||James Mullen (2014)|
|4th (tied)||Belgium||1||Steven Pattheeuws (1996)|
|4th (tied)||Russia||1||Alen Kospanov (2018)|
- "Home | IGEO 2018". Université Laval. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- "2018년 제19회 전국지리올림피아드 추진 계획(안)" (in Korean). The Korean Geographical Society. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- "Final Report | IGEO 2018" (PDF). International Geographical Union= 1 July 2019.