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.
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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.
We are happy to announce the Map of the Month for February: “Port de Djibouti” by the French Navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency. It received the second jury’s prize in the category “Hydrographic or Maritime Navigation Charts” at the International Cartographic Exhibition at ICC 2011 in Paris.
We are happy to announce the first Map of the Month for this year: “eAtlas of Global Development” by the Worldbank is a thematic online atlas. It won the first jury’s prize in the category “Educational Cartographic Resources” at the International Cartographic Exhibition at ICC 2011 in Paris.