I first met Professor Taylor when he was President of the International Cartographic Association (ICA), at one of the early International Cartographic Conferences that I attended. I was involved in research in the application of interactive multimedia to cartography and the visualization of geography, an area that Professor Taylor championed in the international cartographic and geographic communities. His enthusiasm about contributing to international scientific communities was, and is, infectious and his encouragement to participate in research and development was extremely supportive to young and experienced scientists alike. This introduction to scholarly work in cartography and geography set me on a path of participation and collaboration with the International Cartographic Association and with international cartographic and geographical communities, a path that I continue to follow today.
Professor Taylor is Distinguished Research Professor of Geography and Environmental Science, and in International Affairs and Director of the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, Carleton University, Canada. He has the immediate past Chair of the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM), an international project by world national mapping agencies of the to produce a 1:1 million digital map of the world to support environmental and sustainable development decision-making, for the past decade. This work supports international collaboration and decision-making by ensuring that appropriate, current and timely geospatial information is available.
In 2008 Professor Taylor was elected Fellow to the Social Sciences Division of the Academy of Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2009 he was appointed to the United Nations Expert Group on Geospatial Information Management and to the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Global Advisory Council. Also in 2009, he was elected Chair, Technical Committee III, Geospatial Data Collection, Management and Dissemination, Ninth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas. In 2010 he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Canadian Association of African Studies.
He has contributed to regional cartographic and geographical activities, particularly the application of geomatics to socioeconomic development in a national and international context with special reference to the Canadian North, Africa, Latin America, China and Antarctica. He has also advanced regional and rural development theory and practice with special emphasis on sustainable development and indigenous development strategies in Africa and Latin America. In 2006 he was nominated by the Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific and accepted by the UN Conference Secretariat, for the position of Vice Chairman, Technical Committee 3 of the United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific. He was also Head of the Canadian Delegation at this conference. As well, he has been active in Africa – as a member, International Cartographic Association Working Group on Mapping Africa for Africans and Antarctica – in 2000 he was appointed a member of the International Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) Working Group for Geodesy and Geographic Information, now entitled SCAR Group of Experts on Geospatial Information.
In the International Cartographic Association he was elected Vice-President in 1984, and then President in 1987. He was again elected President for a further 4-year term of office in 1991. In August 1999, to recognise his outstanding contributions to the Association, Professor Taylor was elected an Honorary Fellow of the International Cartographic Association. As well, Professor Taylor represented the ICA on Joint Boards. In 1989 he was elected President of the International Union for Surveys and Mapping and in 2004 he was appointed a member of the Joint Board of the Geospatial Information Societies (JBGIS).
In Canada Professor Taylor is an esteemed contributor to cartographic and geographical societies. In 1978, and again in 1979 he was elected President of the Canadian Cartographic Association. In 1999 he was appointed Co-Chair of the National Atlas Advisory Committee by Natural Resources Canada. And, in 2006 he received the Award of Distinction for exceptional scholarly contributions to cartography by the Canadian Cartographic Association. He has been active in many areas of research in Canada, receiving funding for a “Living” Cybercartographic Atlas of Indigenous Artifacts and Knowledge from The Inukshuk Fund in 2007 and a Research Initiative Grant from the SSHRC in 2002 for the Cybercartography and the New Economy project. In 2012 he was awarded the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and 3M Canada Canadian Award for Environmental Innovation.
As well as these activities, Professor Taylor has undertaken research and development and published in areas where his expertise is internationally recognised, namely:
- The theory and practice of cybercartography;
- Electronic atlases, interactive cartographic systems and visualization;
- The preservation and archiving of geospatial data;
- Mapping for the blind and visually impaired; and
- Canada’s international policies towards developing nations.
He has published extensively and presented in many fora on these topics. As well, he was appointed member of Advisory Board for Volume Six of the History of Cartography Series, University of Chicago Press, as Series Editor of the book Series entitled Modern Cartography published by Elsevier Science and Editor, Progress in Contemporary Cartography Series, Wiley & Sons. He has also edited and co-edited two editions of publications related to Cybercartography Theory and Practice.
Professor Taylor has made significant contributions and undertaken leadership roles in cartography and geography, both internationally and in Canada. Professor Taylor works tirelessly in research, teaching, publishing and outreach programmes. He is respected globally for his rigorous research, quality publications and enthusiastic approach to furthering scientific knowledge related to cartography and geography.
The Carl Mannerelt Medal Recognises excellence in scholarship and research in Cartography and GI Science. It is awarded Ob Merita Egregia (acquired) by extraordinary merits. The award of the Carl Mannerfelt Medal formally acknowledges Professor Taylor’s achievements, his effort in the international cartographic research and professional communities and his contributions to humanity.
On 3 September 2013, UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER presented a new report which shows the economic, humanitarian and organizational benefits of applying geoinformation to disaster management.
The report “The Value of Geo-Information for Disaster and Risk Management (VALID): Benefit Analysis and Stakeholder Assessment” is a joint publication of UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER and the Joint Board of Geoinformation Societies (JBGIS), including the International Cartographic Association (ICA). The publication aims to raise awareness and to help set priorities in research and development.
The VALID report is a follow-up publication to the Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies (JBGIS) and UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER published ‘Geoinformation for Disaster and Risk Management – Examples and Best Practices’, a compilation of case studies that provides information on what can be done with geoinformation in support of disaster and risk management – methods, systems, applications, experiences. It analyses cases and offers an expert stakeholder assessment.
The publication (10 MB) can be downloaded from here: http://www.un-spider.org/sites/default/files/VALIDPublication.pdf
It is a great pleasure to stand here, and address you before I hand you one of the ICA awards. This award of ICA honours cartographers of outstanding international reputation who have made special contribution to the ICA.
So before I can hand this awards I have to convince the audience that you indeed qualify. Two keywords in the description of the award pop up clearly. International reputation & special contribution to ICA.
The last one is easy to verify because the ICA archives hold lot of proof. First of all you served two terms as vice-president. Starting in 1999 in Ottawa, Canada with a renewal to your term in Durban, South Africa and the obligatory end in Moscow, Russia in 2007. During those eight year is the Executive Committee started a tradition to have their meetings such that it coincided with Kirsi’s birthday, because during the first time it happened she took care of drinking logistics serving Finish vodka which was much appreciated. Today both EC meetings and birthdays are no longer that fun.
Well, one can wonder if just sitting there as vice president is good enough to qualify. That would be easy. But during your term you have also been active in two commissions: “Map and Spatial Data Use” and “Gender and Cartography”. And during your second term you also acted as working group chair of the working group on “Uncertainty of spatial data and quality of maps”. You have also hosted some pre-conference ICA events in 2007 in Espoo after which you organized a train trip from Helsinki to the main conference in Moscow. If this would not be enough you have also been the initiator of our research agenda. I clearly remember sitting in your class as co-chair of the visualization committee in La Coruna 2005, going though several exercises you prepared to get the framework of the agenda settled. Together with our former secretary general David Fairbairn you presented the first draft in Moscow 2007, which we could later publish in many cartographic journals. The fact they you got everyone in ICA to participate in this endeavor is also due to your international reputation.
Still I tried to find some more evidence for this. This was also not too difficult since you have played several leading roles in our sister organizations like FIG and ISPRS. But those activities happened before your ICA career. Your career has been an academic one, graduating in 1977 in Architecture, followed by additional degrees in Cartography and Surveying. Tracing your academic history, your publications track record is not easy because of the many metamorphoses you last name went trough. Your CV states: Kirsi VIRRANTAUS (formerly Makkonen, Eloranta, Artimo).
But I also have my own memories, we first met in The Hague in 1985 at an UDMS conference. And since then we somehow kept in touch. Today you are even Vice Dean at the School of Engineering of the Aalto University in Espoo/Helsinki. Well enough evidence to convince this audience I believe. Kirsi, I m happy to hand you this ICA reward, congratulations.
For me, it is both an honour and pleasure to address Milan on this occasion, as his former team mate when he was president . Milan is a self-made man, born in a small town in Eastern Moravia. He was able to study in Brno, and distinguished himself there in such a way that he was asked to participate in polar expeditions to Spitsbergen. He opted for a scientific career and focused on digital cartography.
After his obligatory military service he got a job at the university and there he steadily advanced, also because he set up a lab on geoinformatics and cartography, and this is most important as I guess it enabled him to participate in national and international conferences, and also to participate as officer or board member in national and international scientific associations, where he has a most impressive record. It enabled him to travel widely, I guess he must have spent more than a year of his life in airplanes, and as far as the ICA is concerned, it culminated in his presidency from 2003-2007: Amongst the many things he initiated and achieved there, the most important for ICA were the policy towards the international organizations in the surveying and mapping field that were springing up at the time, such as digital Earth and Global Map (through memoranda of understanding, Milan linked ICA to UN bodies or other scientific organisations like PAIGH) , the increased cooperation with national mapping agencies, which he aimed for, together with Ramon Lorenzo, and the support he gave to cartographers in South and Eastern Europe. Apart from that, all his life he has been strengthening ties and links with cartographers in Siberia, China and Japan.
Just to show his international orientation, I have listed some of the institutions or associations Milan has been involved with – IEAS, Digital Earth, Global Map, GSDI, European initiatives like Inspire, and UN initiatives. As I said, Milan’s specialty has been building bridges to Eastern Europe and Asia, which started already at a time when it was difficult to travel outside the socialist bloc, but later Japan and India were added to his list of preferred destinations.
For all his contributions to the profession Milan was awarded prizes and honorary: from the Brazilian and Spanish cartographic societies, from the Novosibirsk and Sofia universities, he was asked as president of the European Joint Research Centre of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, and it is only fitting that he is now awarded a honorary fellowship of the ICA – it has been long due, but we have the rule that this honorary fellowship can only be awarded to people that do not hold office in the board, and this is the first occasion after 16 years of Milan’s membership of the ICA executive committee that he can receive this distinction. There is one more item I want to mention, and that is that we first evaluated the venue where we now have the conference back when Milan was president in 2007, in order to select this venue, and the success of this conference alone justifies this decision to award Milan the honorary fellowhip. Milan, many congratulations!
Dear Colleagues and friends:
As a collaboration among ISPRS, IGU and ICA, we are going to organize a joint Workshop on Borderlands Modeling and Understanding for Global Sustainability. It will be organized from December 5 to 6, 2013, in Beijing. The main purpose is to promote inter-disciplinary scientific research and academic exchange on the application of imagery and geo-information in borderlands understanding. Please check out the website or read the call for paper PDF.
May I ask you to have a look at the announcement and pass this information to your colleagues and students as well as those people who might be interested?
We would like to inform you about upcoming changes regarding our news distribution channels:
From now on, our Email Newsletter will be sent out about monthly and it will contain the top news of the month. We will stop sending out emails whenever a new post is published on our website. Subscribers of the old system were automatically subscribed to the new system. If you need updates about new posts right away, please use RSS, Twitter or a feed to email service.
We also have a new RSS feed address – please change it in your reader to http://icaci.org/feed/. Thank you.
We are happy to announce the Map of the Month for April: “Hong Kong Street Map Series” by the Survey and Mapping Office of Hong Kong. It received the first jury’s prize in the category “Maps and Plans of Towns and Urban Areas” at the International Cartographic Exhibition at ICC 2011 in Paris.
We are happy to announce the Map of the Month for October: “Columbus E-Learning” by Liber is a Swedish learning tool for children, which received the second jury’s prize in the category “Educational Cartographic Resources” at the International Cartographic Exhibition at ICC 2011 in Paris.