Welcome to the International Cartographic Association
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic AssociationJune’s Map of the Month: World atlas in Polish and Braille
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
Map of the Month 07/2014: Death in Grand Canyon
June’s Map of the Month is a world atlas in Polish and Braille
Map of the Month 05/2014: Physical Geography of Ukraine

President’s Blog: JBGIS

The International Cartographic Association has close relationships to neighbouring domains and their international organisations, we even call them sister societies. This goes as far as having joint activities, including e.g.

  • a Joint Working Group on Toponomy with IGU,
  • an International Board for Standards of Competence (IBSC) of FIG, IHO and ICA,
  • joint sessions at the vice versa conferences with the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS),
  • joined interests and participation at the events of the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM), the International Map Industry Association (IMIA), the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) or the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI).

All those organizations have their particular aims and scope, interests and activities. But all of them have also an interest to cooperate and eventually synchronize activities. This is the role of JBGIS.

The Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies (JBGIS)

Members of the Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies in 2012

Members of the Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies in 2012


JBGIS logoJBGIS is a coalition of recognized international geospatial organizations involved in the coordination, development, management, standardization or regulation of geospatial information and related matters, represented by the presidents, secretary‐generals or equivalent office bearers or their nominees that lead those organizations.

This coalition becomes especially important when the “geo domains” being represented in the JBGIS need to find one voice, as e.g. in the context of United Nation activities or other international and interdisciplinary frameworks. It is therefore of importance to ICA, that the JBGIS is recognized by the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).

William Cartwright

Former JBGIS chair William Cartwright

The JBGIS chair position rotates between the member organizations. It happens to be, that our Past President William Cartwright was elected chair of the JBGIS 2011. Due to the fact, that his leadership was unanimously perceived as crucial for the further development of JBGIS he was asked to prolongate his term as chairs twice until 2014, which was an exceptionally affair, giving him as well as ICA a most prominent profile in this respect.

In the latest JBGIS Meeting in August 2014 the chair position of William Cartwright was taken over by IAG President Chris Rizos. I would like to take the opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Past-President William Cartwright for his excellent work in this respect.

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog: ICA Research Scholarships

Are you a young scientist?
Is your research topic linkable with the ICA Research Agenda and an ICA Commission?
Do you need support?

I would like to point your interest to a new instrument of ICA, the ICA Research Scholarships.

With this we would like to reach the following aims:

  • to foster academic research in the domain of Cartography and GIScience
  • to establish contact between young scientists and ICA Commissions
  • to support young scientists to be able to actively contribute to ICA activities and events, such as especially International Cartographic Conferences
  • to establish opportunities for young scientists within ICA publications and conferences

Interested? Information about how to apply can be found in the document
ICA Research Scholarships 2014/2015.

We are looking forward to hear from you!

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog: Breaking News – ICA accepted as full ICSU member

Logo of the International Council for ScienceIt is my sincere pleasure to announce, that at her 31th General Assembly the International Council of Science (ICSU) has accepted the International Cartographic Association as a Full International Scientific Union Member.

ICSU’s mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. The International Council for Science (ICSU) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the advancement of science. Its members are national scientific bodies and international scientific unions. It comprises 120 multi-disciplinary National Scientific Members representing 140 countries and 31 international, disciplinary Scientific Unions.

From now on ICSU has 32 International Scientific Union Members, giving Cartography through ICA a strong voice in the world of science.

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

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.

President’s Blog: Breaking News – International Map Year 2015–2016

Logo of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information ManagementIt is my sincere pleasure to inform you that at the fourth session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management at the UN Headquarters in New York, 6–8 August 2014, the ICA Initiative on an International Map Year 2015–2016 was positively discussed.

The resolution states:

The committee endorses the International Map Year 2015–2016 as proposed by the International Cartographic Association as a valuable means to promote the importance of maps and geoinformation.

With this we have reached a most prominent framework for the planned acitivities and I invite all members of the ICA family to consider their active participation. To stay up-to-date with all activities around the International Map Year, please visit internationalmapyear.org.

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog: Africa

Visit to Botswana Department of Survey and Mapping

Visit to Botswana Department of Survey and Mapping

National Delegate of Botswana to ICA Lucy Phalaage and ICA President Georg Gartner in Goborone, June 2014

National Delegate of Botswana to ICA Lucy Phalaage and ICA President Georg Gartner in Goborone, June 2014

Given the fact, that I had the opportunity to recently visit Africa several times I am eager to share my experiences with you in terms of finding a continent with severe constraints but also significant opportunities. In this respect the importance of geospatial information management and cartography is recognized by more and more proponents within Africa and seen as a most important technology, capacity and instrument for the further development of societies and economies.

It is in this context that I was so impressed by getting in contact with many ambitious, motivated and excellent colleagues like from the Botswana Department of Survey and Mapping, which I was able to visit in July 2014 and give a half-day workshop on modern cartography, or with colleagues from South Africa and other African countries at the most successful AfricaGEO 2014 conference in July 2014, where a lot of surveyors, remote sensing experts, GI scientists and cartographers gather and shared their results, problems, methods and experiences on a high level, or with colleagues from Uganda, Ethiopia, Tunesia and other African countries, which are contacting ICA for several reasons, including their willingness to fully participate in the developments of modern cartography and GIScience.

It is without doubt, that for the International Cartographic Association Africa is and remains a major focus.

President’s Blog: Geo4All

Prof. Chen Jun (ISPRS President), Jeff McKenna (OSGeo President) and Prof. Georg Gartner (ICA President) during their meeting at AfricaGEO in Cape Town in July 2014 to discuss future collaboration for GeoforAll

Prof. Chen Jun (ISPRS President), Jeff McKenna (OSGeo President) and Prof. Georg Gartner (ICA President) during their meeting at AfricaGEO in Cape Town in July 2014 to discuss future collaboration for GeoforAll

The “Geo for All” Initiative has developed out of the Memorandum of Understanding Activities between ICA and OSGeo (the Open Source Geospatial Foundation). So-called “ICA-OSGeo Labs” have been founded in unexpected high numbers in the last months (http://www.geoforall.org/locations/), demonstrating the great interest and demand for evaluating and using Open Source Software in the area of Cartography, GI Science and Geospatial Information Management.

In order to direct the development of this initiative an Advisory Board has been found, co-chaired by the Presidents of ICA (Georg Gartner) and OSGeo (Jeff McKenna). Due to the inclusive character of this initiative and a strong interest being expressed several times from the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) is now joining this initiative.

We are looking forward to working together in our common aim to expand geospatial education and opportunities to all.

President’s Blog: Disaster management and cartography

Evacuation of Participants of the 5th Jubilee International Conference on Cartography and GIS with helicopters throught to flash floods in the region of Varna in June 2014

Evacuation of Participants of the 5th Jubilee International Conference on Cartography and GIS with helicopters throught to flash floods in the region of Varna in June 2014

The 5th Jubilee International Conference on Cartography and GIS (ICCGIS) together with EU Seminar on Early Warning and Crises management was held on June 15–20, 2014 in Riviera, Varna, Bulgaria. The successful conference was attended by 170 specialists from 42 countries around the world and was professionally organised by Prof Temenoujka Bandrova and her team once again.

The ICA Commission on Cartography in Early Warning and Disaster Management, chaired by Prof Milan Konecny, has contributed in the past to publications such as the UN-OOSA and JBGIS publication on “Geoinformation for Disaster and Risk Management”, demonstrating the strong need and demand for profound expertise in such contexts.

It happens to be, that the Conference demonstrated this connection unexpectedly. During the Gala dinner, which was organised in a typical Bulgarian restaurant, strong flash floods struck the region. The floods blocked several cities (in Varna city 12 people lost their lives). The only access to the road back to Riviera was closed due to rise in rivers’ water levels. Unexpectedly, participants had to spend the night in the manor without their personal belongings and medicines and with limited food reserves. Emergency services in Bulgaria and various embassies and medical centres were immediately contacted. Finally, with the help of the Military Geographic Service of Bulgaria all participants were evacuated via helicopters and returned safely back to their hotels.

This real life experience demonstrated, that the topic of “Disaster Management and Cartography” can’t be underestimated in its relevance to all of us.

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Former ICA president Fraser Taylor receives 2014 Killam Prize

Fraser Taylor, Source: canadacouncil.ca

D. R. Fraser Taylor, recipient of the 2014 Killam Prize

The ICA is pleased to inform that former ICA President Prof Fraser Taylor received one of the highest Canadian awards – the Killam Prize – for his outstanding contributions as a cartographer. This demonstrates once more that cartography is relevant, attractive and modern and it is good to see that proponents of our discipline are recognized in such a noble manner.

Congratulations, Fraser Taylor!

Georg Gartner
President, ICA

 

From the press release of the Canada Council for the Arts:

Ottawa, April 9, 2014 – Five of Canada’s top scholars and scientists were recognized today as the Canada Council for the Arts announced the winners of the 2014 Killam Prizes, which awards $100,000 to each recipient.

The winners are:

  • Sajeev John, University of Toronto
  • Andreas Mandelis, University of Toronto
  • James Miller, University of Saskatchewan
  • Francis Plummer, University of Manitoba
  • Fraser Taylor, Carleton University

These are Canadians who have made their mark in the international race to find an effective HIV vaccine, pioneered diffusion wave technologies that are revolutionizing medical diagnostic methods, introduced the new discipline of “Cybercartography” and its capacity to illuminate socio-economic issues, enhanced our understanding of relations between Canada’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, and developed optical technologies that will transform the way information systems transmit data.

For more information:

President’s Blog: Season’s Greetings

Dear collegue and friend of ICA,

The year 2013 was in many ways a most successful year for cartography and the International Cartographic Association.

We are witnessing an enormous popularity of maps. Today maps can be created and used by anyone with just modest computing skills from virtually any location on Earth and for almost any purpose. Cartographic data may be digitally and wirelessly delivered in finalized form to the device in the hands of the users or they may derive the requested visualization from downloaded data in situ. Real-time data handling and visualization are other significant developments as well as location-based services and mobile cartography. We see a significant interest of big companies to participate in these developments as well as an ever growing number of map users.

We are witnessing growing awareness for the relevance of communicating spatial data efficiently through maps. Maps and cartography play a key role for our society, economy and decision making processes and this becomes more and more understood by governments, authorities, companies and the society, thus driving developments such as Spatial Data Infrastructures and Service-oriented Cartography. It was interesting to see, that the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) is confirming this statement exactly, because maps are most efficient in enabling human users to understand complex situations. Maps can be understood as tools to order information by their spatial context. Maps can be seen as the perfect interface between a human user and all those big data and thus enable human users to answer location-related questions, to support spatial behavior, to enable spatial problem solving or simply to be able to become aware of space.

Cartography is facing fast, challenging and demanding developments. But on the other hand it’s highly rewarding to contribute to cartographic research, developments, applications or products. Such contributions have been done under the umbrella of the many, many activities of the International Cartographic Association in 2013, with the International Cartographic Conference in Dresden as highlight!

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 which have contributed to the further development of our most attractive, modern and relevant discipline!

With this I would like to express my sincere season’s greetings and wish all of us a most successful, interesting “cartographic” year 2014!

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

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