Mapped topographic features are important for understanding processes that sculpt the Earth's surface. This paper presents maps that are the primary product of an exercise that brought together 27 researchers with an interest in landform mapping wherein the efficacy and causes of variation in mapping were tested using novel synthetic DEMs containing drumlins. The variation between interpreters (e.g. mapping philosophy, experience) and across the study region (e.g. woodland prevalence) opens these factors up to assessment. A priori known answers in the synthetics increase the number and strength of conclusions that may be drawn with respect to a traditional comparative study. Initial results suggest that overall detection rates are relatively low (34–40%), but reliability of mapping is higher (72–86%). The maps form a reference dataset.