Welcome to the International Cartographic Association
Happy International Map Year 2015–2016!Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
Happy International Map Year 2015–2016!
Map of the Month 08/2015: Jacaranda World History Atlas for the Australian Curriculum
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association

ICA has its own anthem! #icc2015rio

ICA has its own Anthem! At ICC2015 the Brazilian organizers suprised the participants with the premiere of the ICA anthem, composed and texted from domain collegues of IBGE.

Orchestra playing the ICA anthem at ICC2015

Photo by @RoutledgeGPU

You can listen to a live recording of the ICA anthem here (4.3mb).

A video will follow but please find lyrics and chords available here (music by Márcio Carvalho, lyrics by Aline Milani and Jorge Tadeu):

This gift to ICA will always remind us of a wonderful ICC2015 in Rio de Janeiro!

Georg Gartner
– ICA Past President

Category: General News

Final President’s Blog by Georg Gartner: Welcome Menno-Jan Kraak!

Georg Gartner at ICC2015 wearing an #welovemaps shirtDear collegues and friends of ICA,

ICC2015 brings a change of persons in charge. After four years of being president of ICA this function is passed to Prof Menno-Jan Kraak from the Netherlands according to the General Assembly of ICA.

In this context I would like to express my sincere thanks for all the support and collaboration I was happy to receive from so many of you; for many of the projects, ideas and efforts we have taken. It is because of this, why I consider those four years as most rewarding and successful on a personal level.

I would like to share with you my final report, describing some of the efforts and achievements which have been taken from so many in the term 2011–2015 and I would be happy to receive any comments on that.

It was a privilege to serve the International Cartographic Association as President from 2011 to 2015. I’m looking forward to the future of ICA under the presidency of Menno-Jan Kraak!


President’s Blog: ICA has its own journal! #icc2015

Georg Gartner presenting IJC

Photo by @sgk_swisscarto

At ICC2015 in Rio de Janeiro the International Journal of Cartography was officially launched!

In its sixth decade of existence, ICA has now its own outlet for scientific work. Together with Taylor & Francis, the two Editors-in-Chief Anne Ruas and William Cartwright presented the first issue in Rio.

Please check out the first issue, which is available online at tandfonline.com

And: Send us your results, papers and submissions!

President’s Blog: New members

I am happy to announce two new members of ICA.

Trinidad & Tobago has decided to join ICA as national member. The Ministry of Land and Marine Resources Division on Survey and Mapping based in El Soccoro, Trinidad and Tobago has the mission on “contributing to the development and economic success of Trinidad and Tobago by adopting new technologies and by providing up-to-date and authoritative maps, charts, land and sea information, in conventional paper and progressively in digital form to meet the needs of the government, the general public and the private sector” and felt that a full national membership with ICA will be a benefit for being able to follow this mission up.

My specific thank goes to Mrs. Paula Drakes from the Land Settlement Agency of the Ministry of Land and Marine Resources of Trinidad and Tobago. She has participated in the successful ICA Workshop on OpenSource Technologies and WebMapping early in the year 2014 at Sint-Maarten and has since then followed the idea of full cooperation up.

A heartly welcome to Trindidad & Tobago!

HERE Europe B.V. has decided to join ICA as affiliate member! HERE belonged to Nokia and was recently sold to a consortium of Audi, BMW, and Daimler. HERE considers itself a global leader in the mapping and location intelligence business. Rooted in almost three decades of experience in cartography, their vision is to offer the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. HERE is working on the idea, that giving people a better and deeper sense of location will be essential to live a modern urbanized life. Map products of HERE can be found in the majority of current navigation systems as well as in mobile, web and enterprise solutions of companies like BMW, Garmin, Toyota, Yahoo and many more.

It is for sure a win-win situation, if such a big and strong mapping company, aiming for producing the “world’s best maps”, and the international network of the International Cartographic Association meet and work together.

My specific thanks goes to Mrs. Astrid Dawson from HERE. She has participated at the ICC 2009 in Santiago de Chile and since then stayed in close contact with ICA, although she was promoted with Nokia and later HERE to responsible positions.

President’s Blog: ICA and OSGeo renew their Memorandum of Understanding

Georg Gartner and Jeff McKenna shake hands to renew the ICA-OSGeo MoU

Georg Gartner (ICA) and Jeff McKenna (OSGeo) shake hands to renew the ICA-OSGeo Memorandum of Understanding at FOSS4G-Europe in Como, Italy, on 16 July 2015

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ICA and OSGeo signed in 2011, a real success story developed. The MoU acted as an umbrella for several activities coordinated by the ICA Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies under the chairmanship of Suchith Anand. The so-called ICA-OSGeo Labs are focussing on the use of open source software for geoinformation management and cartography. In the meantime, more than 100 institutions have joined the initiative and it is still growing. Based on the unexpected high interest, Suchith Anand took this idea a step further and founded Geo4All, which goes beyond open software and also includes the aim of having open access to education material, data and applications.

During the most successful FOSS4G Europe conference at Como, Italy, president of OSGeo Jeff McKenna and ICA President Georg Gartner renewed and edited the MoU, which can be found on wiki.osgeo.org.

– Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog: ICA and URISA sign Memorandum of Understanding

URISAI am happy to announce that the rising interest cartography and ICA are gaining from the “classical” GIS industry and their proponents have found yet another indicator. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between ICA and URISA, the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association, which can be seen as a GIS professionalist’s society.

The MoU shall work as a framework towards establishing cooperations in training programmes, workshops, symposia and can entitle ICA to reach out with their key messages and instruments about the relevance of modern cartography to a large number of GIS professionalists.

– Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

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President’s Blog: Please share your thoughts on the Barbara Petchenik Competition


One of the flagships of the International Cartographic Association’s instruments is the Barbara Petchenik Children Map Drawing Competition. It is amazing how much positive interest this is getting whenever the idea and the results are displayed!

It is truly according to the mission of ICA to promote the role of maps and the importance of cartography, when school children of different age groups all over the world are not only confronted with maps, but are actively involved in making and understanding maps.

The Barbara Petchenik Competition is a real success story. In order to ensure that the success story continues, it is useful to revisit concept, perspectives, thoughts related to this from time to time. This is exactly what Jesus Reyes Nunez, Chair of the ICA Commission on Cartography and Children, is proposing in his document “Exchanging ideas about the Barbara Petchenik Competition“.

May I ask all of you to read his ideas and share your thoughts as a comment below the article. Thank you for helping us to ensure that the Barbara Petchenik Competition remains a success story.

– Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association


Maps featured in the graphic on top (from left to right): My Place in Today’s World is a World Where Friends are Very Important to Me by Keagen Madodzi (5), South Africa, 1st place <6 years (2013), Peace & Harmony by Wang Zhiling (12), China, 2nd place, 9–12 years (2013), The World at my Fingertips – Remains a Puzzle by Hayden Livingstone (15), New Zealand, 1st place 12–15 years (2011)

President’s Blog: “The World of Maps” now available in Spanish

elmundodelosmapasAlthough the International Map Year 2015/16 will be launched officially at the ICC 2015 in Rio de Janeiro later this year, activities are planned and shaped already in several countries.

That is why it is good to announce, that a Spanish version of the accompanying book “The World of Maps” has been made available on the website internationalmapyear.org. The translation of the book was done under the supervision of Pilar Sanchez-Ortiz from ICA’s Spanish national member organisation SECFT. With this the most useful book as source for understanding and disseminating the role of maps is available to all those being interested in cartography in the Spanish speaking world.

Muy bien!
– Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog: 365 maps

The ICA Commission on Map Design through its chair Ken Field has undertaken a unique exercise in 2014. They have identified, collected, described and made available 365 “good” maps. This is meant as having a repository of maps available that somehow exhibit quality design principles.

Or as Ken Field writes on his blog:

My hope for this collection is that whenever we are stuck for inspiration, or whenever someone says ‘show me a good map’ then here are 365 examples to whet the appetite. They represent as broad a definition of cartography as you could possibly see in a single collection. They’re authoritative because they’ve been compiled by cartographers. There’s probably some of your own favourites missing. Some of mine are too… but that’s not the point. It’s a collection that illustrates the diverse, rich world of cartographic design from the perspective of the professionals that inhabit that world.

Check it out. What is your favourite?

Georg Gartner
– President of the International Cartographic Association

Season’s Greetings


Dear colleagues and friends of ICA,

The year 2014 was in many ways a most successful year for cartography and the International Cartographic Association: ICA has been accepted as full union member of the International Council of Science (ICSU), has prepared the launch of its own journal called “The International Journal of Cartography”, has been endorsed by the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) to run the International Map Year 2015/16, has successfully organized numerous activities of ICA Commissions including workshops, symposia, meetings, discussions and publications.

Cartography is facing fast, challenging and demanding developments. All of us within the ICA are feeling the increasing interest, activities and awareness of the core relevance of cartography. In the realm of big data and innovative technologies, the efficient communication of spatial information is getting more and more in the focus, adding to the keywords of competences needed to succeed in this arena not only data crunching and technology-savviness but also design skills.

Therefore I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of the many commission chairs, commission members, committee members, participants at ICA events, correspondents, cartographers and GIScientists or simply friends of ICA, who have contributed to the development of our attractive, modern and relevant discipline!

With this, I would like to express my sincere season’s greetings and wish all of us a successful and interesting “cartographic” year 2015!

– Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association