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: ICA outreach and capacity building

Georg Gartner

Georg Gartner,
ICA President

ICA as an international organization is interested to follow its mission and aims globally. Thus my participation at the GeoTunis 2012 conference in Tunis just recently brought an interesting insight into the lively and active community of cartographers and GI scientists of primarily Arab countries. A Letter of Intent signed with a Minister of the Tunisian Government stated the intention of Tunisia to join ICA as national member again.

Besides a very interesting conference programme, a two-day workshop under the flag of ICA was given on topics of contemporary web mapping. The well received workshop, given by Vice-Chair Markus Jobst of the Commission on Map Production, demonstrated once more the strong interest ICA has in offering outreach and capacity building programmes. In order to synchronize efforts in this respect better, ICA has founded a Working Group, which is entitled to help to coordinate the variety of workshops being offered by commissions of the ICA, including the Commission on Education and Training, the Commission on Maps and the Internet, and the Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies.

While some activities of ICA Commissions are meant as offers for outreach and capacity building some workshops and seminars are meant for commission members and other interested experts to meet and to develop their topics of interest further. Such meetings are taking place literally globally and throughout the whole year. Check out the ICA Calendar, the ICA Commission web pages or the National and Affiliate Member sites to get information on this. Let me mention as example the ICA Commission on Generalization which calls for papers for their workshop in Istanbul in September 2012 or the German Cartographic Society Workshop on Map Creation from User Generated Data, which has the call for paper open now.


President’s Blog: Website feedback and a map poem

The relaunched website has caused an impressive number of positive reactions, including a note in the “Kartographische Nachrichten”, the Journal of the German Cartographic Society, where the Editor Rolf Harbeck refers to the relaunched ICA website as the probably “richest source for information on the international community of cartography”. He also highlighted the use of modern web technology. The new added LinkedIn – Group option (have a look at the small blue button “in” on the top right part of the ICA website) has helped ICA to reach out in only two weeks time to many who share interest in ICA topics but have not found the right instrument yet to get in contact. Interested? Try it and share it!

Our polish colleague Beata Medynska-Gulij has informed us about the passing away of the polish poet and nobel prize winner for literature (in 1996) Wisława Szymborska in February 2012. The last poem she finished before her death is called “Mapa” (“the map”). I would like to share a draft translation of the first and third part of the poem, done by Agata Ciolkosz-Styk from the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography Warsaw, with you:


Wisława Szymborska

Wisława Szymborska, 2009,
photo by Mariusz Kubik


by Wisława Szymborska (2012)

Flat as a table,
On which it is put.
Nothing moves underneath it,
Nothing changes its place.
Above it – my human breath
Does not create vortexes of air
And nothing muddies its pure colours.

I like maps, because they lie.
Because they do not give an access to the virulent truth.
Because generously, with good-natured sense of humor
They spread on a table in front of me the world
Not of this world.


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President’s Blog: Relaunch of the ICA website

Georg Gartner

Georg Gartner,
ICA President

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the first entry in the new president’s blog of the relaunched website of the International Cartographic Association. Thanks to the efforts of the ICA Webmasters Manuela Schmidt and Felix Ortag this place evolved to be a more contemporary web presence.

This website is meant as a modern tool for getting information about ICA and all its activities as well as allowing for more interactive and dynamic tools reflecting opinions, comments and discussions.  We are all interested in having tools available which support our professional lifes as cartographers and assist us in distributing and linking ideas, results and opinions about maps, cartography and ICA. With this relaunched website we hope to be able to meet these needs.

I would like to invite all of you to stay connected with ICA by taking advantage of the offered options on the website including email-subscription, RSS or Twitter. I am also looking forward to comments and suggestions for developing the website further.