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 10/2015: Project Supra – Real-time heatmaps from sports workouts
Welcome to the website 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

Invitation to ICC 2015 Pre-Conference Workshops at the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil

The ICA commissions on Use and User IssuesCognitive VisualizationGeovisualization and Map Design invite you to the following Pre-ICC2015 workshops at the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil on 20 and 21 August 2015:

Workshop / training on “Designing and Conducting User Studies”

Come to the usability workshop to learn how it is supposed to be done ;-)

Workshop “Envisioning the Future of Cartographic Research”

Update: The website cartografia.ufpr.br contains all the information you may need about the two workshops and also offers facilities to register for one or both workshops in Curitiba. We would like to ask you to register a.s.a.p. but, in any case, before 1 July 2015. Registration for our workshops will only be possible through this website. It is also important to know that you will have to book your travels and overnight accommodation yourself. The website provides information to help you with this.


Logo of the ICA Commission on Art & Cartography
The ICA commissions on Art & Cartography and on Maps and Society are co-organizing a workshop entitled MAPPING EPHEMERALITIES / EPHEMERAL CARTOGRAPHIES in Rio de Janeiro, August 21-22, 2015 (prior to ICC2015). This workshop aims to bring together artists, scholars and students from cartography, geography, the humanities and the arts who are interested in exploring further the relationships between maps and ephemeral dimensions of places.

The deadline to submit proposals for this workshop is December 15, 2014.

Please find more details here:

Invitation to the Barbara Petchenik Competition 2015

Big Miracle by Little Hands by Karina Balitskaya (13), Russia

“Big Miracle by Little Hands” by Karina Balitskaya (13), Russia

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the International Cartographic Association and the Commission on Cartography and Children, it is our pleasure to invite you to participate in the next Barbara Petchenik Map Competition 2015, an event created with the aim of promoting the creative representation of the world in graphic form by children.

In 2015, this biannual international award has a special connotation, because it is organized on the frame of activities programmed within the International Map Year. The theme for the 2015 competition remains the same: “My place in today’s world” and the entries can be nominated in four age groups: under 6 years, 6–8 years, 9–12 years and 13–15 years. The deadline for the participation in the contest is 1 May 2015. Details can be found in the rules document.

Winner drawings selected at national level will be displayed in the International Exhibition to be held during the 27th International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 23–28 August 2015. An international jury will select the best entries by each age group. Also there will be a public vote open to all participants for a dedicated public prize. If you are interested in using children maps in your context, e.g. with publications, we would like to encourage you to contact us.

For more detailed information about the competition, please visit the Petchenik section on the ICA website, the website of the Commission on Cartography and Children or their Facebook page.

Yours sincerely,

Georg Gartner (President of the ICA)
José Jesús Reyes Nunez (Chair of the Commission on Cartography and Children)

Update as of 16 January 2014: List of national organizers

A place for maps in the human brain

Figure Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014

Figure by Mattias Karlén

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine honors the discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. These efforts are crucial for many research agendas in the cartographic community concerned with cognitive processes and impact-oriented maps.

Recent investigations with brain imaging techniques, as well as studies of patients undergoing neurosurgery, have provided evidence that place and grid cells exist also in humans. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex are frequently affected at an early stage, and these individuals often lose their way and cannot recognize the environment. Knowledge about the brain’s positioning system may, therefore, help us understand the mechanism underpinning the devastating spatial memory loss that affects people with this disease.

The discovery of the brain’s positioning system represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of how ensembles of specialized cells work together to execute higher cognitive functions. It has opened new avenues for understanding other cognitive processes, such as memory, thinking and planning.


Announcement of the 10th Jubilee Workshop on Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage

The ICA Commission on Digital Technologies in Cartographic Heritage announces its 10th Jubilee Workshop on Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage to be held at Corfu, Greece, on 27–29 May 2015 hosted by the History Department of the Ionian University, a supporting institution of our commission.

The central building of the University, Ionian Academy, 1824

The central building of the University,
Ionian Academy, 1824

The Historical Archives of Corfu/General State Archives of Greece, Old Fortress, 1545–1555

The Historical Archives of Corfu/General State Archives of Greece, Old Fortress, 1545–1555

The venues of the workshop are the Aula Magna of the Ionian University (at the historic building of the Ionian Academy, 1824) and the Corfu Historical Archives / General State Archives of Greece (at the Old Fortress, 1545–1555).

Please find more information on the workshop’s website, which is continuously updated: http://xeee.web.auth.gr/ICA-Heritage/Corfu_2015.htm

Please feel free to forward the workshop announcement. I wish to see you all in Corfu in late Spring 2015,

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


President’s Blog: Education

Cartography is a domain including technology, art and science. In order to be able to fully deploy the capacity of cartography education in all these areas is key. It happens to be that respective university programmes, professional trainings, and job trainings are more and more changing their scopes and names, leaving the unique competence combination of cartographers, being able to deal with big data, modern technologies and artistic design, vacant.

It is of this reason, that programmes dealing with dedicated cartographic education are of growing importance. Let me highlight here two programmes, which ICA is taking significant note of.

  • The International Course on Management and Applied Techniques in Cartography (IC_Cartotechnology), run by the Institut Cartografic i Geològic de Catalunya, has the aim to provide a wide range of geoinformation professionals with a capacity-building instrument that covers the basis of advanced and up-to-date techniques, tools and critical thinking in cartography. It therefore integrates all the disciplines, approaches and techniques used to acquire and exploit geospatial data. Several ICA collegues have contributed to the first successful edition by giving lectures. The second edition starts in September 2014 and enrolment is still possible.
  • Three central european universities, the Technical University Munich, the Vienna University of Technology and the Technical University Dresden, are offering a joint Master Programme on Cartography. This is a 4-semester programme and it leads into a joint master degree of all three universities. Currently four intakes have been accepted and are in different stages of their studies. The programme is competitive, as only a restricted number of students can be accepted and has so far proven to be most successful in achieving the aim of educating experts with capacity in technologies, data handling and design skills.

Joint commission meeting children/planets

cccmeeting2014A day before beginning the 9th International Workshop on Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage, the Commission on Cartography and Children will have a meeting together with the Commission on Planetary Cartography. There will be a special presentation by former ICA President Bengt Rystedt representing the Working Group on the International Map Year.

All of you are invited to participate!

For more information, please see the Preliminary Programme.