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 11/2015: 3D Map Longyearbyen and environs
Map of the Month 10/2015: Project Supra – Real-time heatmaps from sports workouts
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association

Get to know the new ICA commissions for the term 2015–2019

27 commissions and 3 working groups were elected for the term 2015–2019 by the ICA General Assembly 2015. We are currently in the process of updating the website to reflect these changes. Also some of the commissions are still preparing or updating their websites. In the meantime, we invite you to have a look at the short “Commissions at a glance” presentations, which the new commissions chairs gave during ICC 2015:


Announcement of the 1st International Workshop on the Origin and Evolution of Portolan Charts

Portolan Charts

The ICA Commission on Cartographic Heritage into the Digital announces the 1st International Workshop on the Origin and Evolution of Portolan Charts to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, 6–7 June 2016. The workshop is organized by the Interuniversity Centre for the History of Science and Technology, University of Lisbon (CIUHCT) and the National Library of Portugal (BNP).


  • To assess the current state of knowledge and the range of opinion about the following aspects of research into the medieval portolan chart: When, where, how and why were the earliest portolan charts constructed?
  • How did the portolan charts evolve over time?
  • Were the portolan charts used in marine navigation and, if so, how; if not, what was their likely function?
  • To clarify the role of cartometric analytical techniques in the study of portolan charts.
  • To bring any other method to bear on these problems, such as the analysis of inks and parchments, special lighting to detect marks of use and to decipher illegible elements, and any other relevant approaches.

Organizing committee

The Call for Papers will be opened in October 2015. The programme will be published in March 2016.

Please find more information on the workshop website.

Honorary Fellowship for David Fairbairn

David Fairbairn receiving the ICA Honorary FellowshipDavid Fairbairn receiving the ICA Honorary Fellowship
During ICC 2015, David Fairbairn received the ICA Honorary Fellowship. Below you can read Bill Cartwright‘s laudation:

Dear colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to give the Laudation on the occasion of the awarding of the ICA Honorary Fellowship to Dr David Fairbairn.

I have known my colleague and friend, David Fairbairn for many years, having first met at British and ICA conferences. As well, David spent a sabbatical at my university whilst undertaking research in Australia.

David and I worked as colleagues for ICA, firstly when we were both Vice-Presidents of ICA, being elected at the Durban, South Africa General Assembly. In the next term we again served ICA, David as Secretary-General & Treasurer, and me as President. So, I know David very well and I am most aware of his dedicated work on behalf of ICA.

So some information about David: David’s ‘day’ job is at the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Here he is the Degree Programme Director and undertakes research in the areas of accuracy of crowdsourced data and geovisualization and querying of spatial databases.

In ICA he has held a number of positions, namely:

  • Vice­‐President of ICA in the term 2003–2007
  • Secretary-General & Treasurer in the term 2007–2011
  • He is currently the Chair of the Commission on Education and Training

David has also represented ICA, as one of the ICA representatives (with me) on the Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies. The Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies (JBGIS) is a coalition of leading international geospatial societies that speaks on behalf of the geospatial profession at international level, especially to the United Nations and other global stakeholders.

He also supports the ICA agenda, by being the editor of the ICA column in the GIM magazine. He has also written many reference works.

In the United Kingdom, David contributes to the activities of the British Cartographic Society, the British member of ICA. He is a Fellow of this Society and he has been editor of The Cartographic Journal, the journal of the British Cartographic Society.

David has contributed to ICA over many years. He has worked tirelessly as Vice-President, Secretary General & Treasurer and Commission Chair of the Education and Training Commission.

I applaud his devoted work for ICA. I consider that this award to David recognises his devotion to activities that support and grow our Associaton.

Dr David Fairbairn – a most deserved awardee of the International Cartographic Association’s Honorary Fellowship.

Congratulations David.

ICA Awards Ceremony #icc2015rio

In the ICA Awards Ceremony this morning at ICC2015, the following six awards were presented in recognition of contributions to the ICA. Congratulations to all awardees!

Recipients of ICA Awards at ICC2015

From left to right: Trisha Moriarty as representative of David Fraser, José Jesús Reyes Nuñez, Elri Liebenberg, David Fairbairn, Vladimir Tikunov, Corné van Elzakker

ICA Honorary Fellowship

The ICA Honorary Fellowship is for cartographers of international reputation who have made special contribution to the ICA. It includes a bronze medal.

  • David Fairbairn, United Kingdom
    • Vice-President (2003–2007)
    • Secretary-General (2007–2011)
    • Chairman of the Commission on Education and Training (2012–)
    • Editor of the ICA GIM column

Diplomas for outstanding services to ICA

The Diplomas for outstanding services to ICA are for colleagues who have made special contribution to the ICA as commission officers or conference organizers.

  • Vladimir Tikunov, Russia
    • Chairman of the Commission on Education and Training (1999–2003)
    • Vice-President (2003–2007)
    • Chairman of the Working Group on GI for Sustainability (2007–2011)
    • Chairman of the Commission on GI for Sustainability (2011–2015)
  • Elri Liebenberg, South Africa
    • Vice-President (1999–2003)
    • Chair of the Working Group on the History of Colonial Cartography in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries (2003–2007)
    • Chair of the Commission on the History of Cartography (2007–2015)
  • José Jesús Reyes Nuñez, Hungary
    • Chairman of the Commission on Cartography and Children (2007–2015)
    • Key organizer of the Barbara Petchenik Children’s World Map Drawing Competition from 2007
    • Chairman of the International Jury (2005, 2007)
    • Co-editor of three of the four books showing selections of map drawings made by children for the Barbara Petchenik Competitions from 2007
  • David Fraser, Australia (not present)
    • Chairman of the Commission on Education and Training (2007–2012)
    • Editor of the eCARTO News (2012–present)
  • Corné van Elzakker, The Netherlands
    • Chairman of the Commission on Use and User Issues (2007–2015)
    • Chairman of the Jury: ICA International Cartographic Exhibition (2007–2013)

Overview of ICA Awards presented at ICC2015

More pictures of the award ceremony and the 2nd day of ICC2015 can be found on the ICA Facebook page.

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)

Review of the 10th Conference on Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage, Corfu, 27–29 May 2015

The 10th Jubilee Conference of the ICA Commission on Digital Technologies in Cartographic Heritage marked with many references on the International Map Year 2015–2016 successfully took place in Corfu. It was attended by 173 participants from 22 countries including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong-China, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, with many studends among them.

The participants of the Corfu 2015 Cartoheritage Conference

The participants of the Corfu 2015 Cartoheritage Conference

The conference was preceded by the intensive workshop “Georeference for ‘non-experts’“, especially designed for participants coming from humanities, map-curatorship and map-archiving, attended by 26 participants from 12 countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hong Kong-China, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovenia and United States.

Participants of the intensive tutorial "Georeferencing for 'non-experts'"

Participants of the intensive tutorial “Georeference for ‘non-experts'”

For more on the conference and the workshop, please see the programme and the tutorial page.

Evangelos Livieratos,
Chair of the ICA Commission on Digital Technologies in Cartographic Heritage


Ferjan Ormeling Received a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Cartography

Ferjan Ormeling – former ICA Secretary General & Treasurer (1999-2007) and recipient of the Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal (2009) – received the academic title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) in a ceremony held on May 7, 2015, for his outstanding contributions to international cartography.

Ferjan Ormeling receiving a Doctorate honoris causa in Cartography

Ferjan Ormeling, Doctor Honoris Causa, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Faculty of Engineering, unanimously accepted the proposal of the School of Rural and Surveying Engineering following the academic nomination by Profs E. Livieratos, C. Boutoura, A. Kousoulakou (AUTH Cartoheritage Group).

Evangelos Livieratos, Chair of the ICA Commission on Digital Technologies in Cartographic Heritage read the Laudatio, highlighting Ferjan’s career highlights and achievements in cartography at home and internationally, as well as his support and contribution to contemporary Greek cartography, which was also acknowledged in 2008 by a honorary membership in the Hellenic Cartographic Society. In front of a full audience – including the rector, faculty deans, school chairs, professors and the Hellenic Cartographic Society president L. Tsoulos – the new AUTH Doctor h.c. gave a lecture on “Ptolemy’s heritage: the Atlas as an ordering device”. With a series of illustrated evidence he recalled the impact of Ptolemy’s “Geographia” in the development of the atlas legacy in the Low Countries starting with Erasmus in 16th century with the first published “Geographia” in West Europe in Greek language. He showed how the conceptual and contextual structure logic and the sequential patterns introduced by Ptolemy are still basis for the ordering and hierarchies of the content of modern atlases.

Ferjan also gave an interview to the Greek press agency focused on the challenges of modern cartography in the network era, well received and widely released online. His Dr h.c. lecture can be followed online in the official video of the full ceremony: http://www.auth.gr/node/18744 (starting from 52min)

26th Newsletter of the Commission on Cartography and Children



The April 2015 issue of the newsletter of the Commission on Cartography and Children is available for download.

It includes information about the upcoming commission event in Niterói (Brazil), the new book “Children Map the World” published by Esri, the 1st Brazilian Cartographic Olympiad, as well as short news illustrated with photos related to the field of Cartography and Children.

Invitation to the ICC2015 Pre-Conference Workshop SDI-Open 2015


The Commission on Geoinformation Infrastructures and Standards, the Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) invite you to a joint Workshop on Spatial data infrastructures, standards, open source and open data for geospatial (SDI-Open 2015).

The workshop aims at recording examples of current SDI practices with the aim of identifying benefits and challenges of implementing free and open source software for geospatial, geographic information standards and open (spatial) data in an SDI.

Registration is now open! Places are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Registration will be confirmed by e-mail.

For further information please visit the workshop website or contact the local organisors: Prof. Silvana Camboim, Head of ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS lab at Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) and Dr. Julia Celia Mercedes Strauch

On behalf of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), we are looking forward to welcoming you to Rio!

Best wishes,
Suchith Anand

Invitation to the ICC2015 Pre-Conference Symposium on Atlases, Toponymy and the History of Cartography

The ICA Commission on Atlases, the Joint ICA Working Group and IGU Commission on Toponymy and the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography invite you to a joint pre-conference Symposium on Atlases, Topography and the History of Cartography at the Brazilian Foundation of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in Rio de Janeiro on 19–21 August 2015.

The symposium will include two days of scientific sessions and one day of technical visits to the Fundacao Bibliotheca Nacional and to the Museu Naval.

Contact: Dr. Ana Cristina da Rocha Bérenger Resende (local organizer)

More details will be available soon.