Welcome to the International Cartographic Association
Happy International Map Year 2015–2016!Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic AssociationJune’s Map of the Month: World atlas in Polish and Braille
Happy International Map Year 2015–2016!
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

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

Invitation to ICC 2015 Pre-Conference Symposium at the Fluminense Federal University in Niteroi, Brazil


The ICA Commissions on Cartography and Children, Maps for Blind and Visually Impaired People, Planetary Cartography and Cartography for Early Warning and Crisis Management have the pleasure to invite you to participate in our Joint ICA Symposium entitled “Cartography Beyond the Ordinary World”. The event will be held in the Institute of Geosciences of the Fluminense Federal University in Niteroi (Brazil) during the 21st and 22nd of August, 2015 and it is organized within the International Map Year as well as the activities previous to ICC 2015 in Rio de Janeiro.

More detailed information can be found on the symposium website: http://niteroi2015.elte.hu

All the colleagues involved in the organization of the event hope that the symposium will be an excellent occassion to exchange opinions and experiences about the common points in the work of our commissions. One of our main aims is to bring an opportunity to connect the international academic research and educational community with the Brazilian scientific potential in each of our research fields to foster a professional, constructive and innovative dialogue. It is open not only for commission members, but for all those colleagues across the wide spectrum of research, teaching and other activities covered by the world of cartography.

Looking forward to meeting you in Niteroi next August!

On behalf of the four participating commissions,
Jesus Reyes

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.

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

eCARTO News December 2014

eCARTO News capture the latest cartographic news and developments from around the world. If you have any general cartography items of interest then please email them to David Fraser, editor of eCARTO News.

The Cloud

General News

The New Technology of Mapping

Industry News

  • ArcGIS 10.3: The Next Generation of GIS Is Here – esri.com
  • Apple is developing an iPhone that fires LASER BEAMS to map surroundings, patent reveals – dailymail.co.uk
  • GeoComm Publishes 3D and Indoor 9-1-1 Caller Location Mapping White Paper – directionsmag.com
  • Spatial Industries Salary Review 2014 – siba.com.au
  • Full Version of MAPS.ME Becomes Free and Open Source – maps.me
  • Nokia’s Here Mapping App Now On Google Play Globally, Coming Back To iOS In 2015 – techcrunch.com
  • Fatmap Raises Seed Funding For Its Detailed 3D Mapping Engine And Ski App – techcrunch.com
  • Putting a startup on the map: Simon Hackett joins investors pouring $5 million into Spookfish – startupsmart.com.au

Cartographic Uncertainty

  • Countries inside Countries: Bizarre Borders Part 1 – youtube.com
  • Canada & The United States: Bizarre Borders Part 2 – youtube.com
  • The Most Complex International Borders in the World – youtube.com
  • This Is What Your City Would Look Like If All The World’s Ice Sheets Melt – fastcoexist.com
  • Unemployment Rates 1991 to 2012 – mapstory.org
  • What Maps Can Hide – theatlantic.com
  • Mapping out the protest sites for history – scmp.com
  • Experiments in mapping the intangible – boingboing.net

Cartographic Education & Resources

Mapping Games


Cartographic Opinion

Cartographic Products

Alternative Cartography


eCARTO News November 2014

eCARTO News capture the latest cartographic news and developments from around the world. If you have any general cartography items of interest then please email them to David Fraser, editor of eCARTO News.

General News

  • Environmental and Geo- Information and Communication, Bogota, Colombia – cegeoic2015.net
  • Web and Wireless Geographical Information Systems (W2GIS 2015) – imag.fr
  • GSR3 Conference at RMIT – free registration – wordpress.com
  • Google Maps Update Adds Weather and Local Time to Destinations – pcmag.com
  • As mapping technology improves, GIS use spreads – bvibeacon.com
  • How to Make a Better Map—Using Neuroscience – citylab.com

The New Technology of Mapping

  • 3D Laser Mapping Scanner Helps UCL Scientists Map Trees – amerisurv.com
  • Drones could 3D-map scores of hectares of land in just a few hours – sciencemag.org
  • British Airways boggles minds with projection-mapped flight video – wired.co.uk
  • Lightweight 3D LiDAR Puck demonstration – sparpointgroup.com
  • 3D Robotics’ new modular drone will photograph and map your house – gigaom.com
  • Mobile-phone mapping succeeds where national censuses fail – washingtonpost.com
  • This clever headset creates 3D sound maps for the blind, but isn’t as cute as a guide dog – digitaltrends.com

Industry News

  • Target’s Mobile App Gets Indoor Mapping, Interactive Black Friday Maps – techcrunch.com
  • ThinkGeo Releases Map Suite for Android, iOS and WebAPI – directionsmag.com
  • Why Google Maps Are An iPhone User’s Top Choice – thefusejoplin.com
  • Heat-Mapping Startup Essess Picks Up $10.8 Million to Scan for Energy Leaks – wsj.com
  • Apple is still hard at work making Apple Maps usable – bgr.com
  • SAP integrates Nokia Here mapping data with HANA platform – v3.co.uk

Mapping Specific Locations

  • Google Maps claims the Guantánamo Bay detention centre is ‘permanently closed’ – news.com.au
  • Missing Maps: what is Baraka … and how can you help map it? – theguardian.com
  • Of biblical proportions: How maps of the Land of Israel never lost their roots – haaretz.com
  • Mapping 20 Years of Major Meteor Impacts – citylab.com
  • Science Scanner: Mapping an Asteroid; Why the Universe Didn’t Collapse; Spicy Food Saves Lives – voanews.com
  • Mapping Mistake Threatens 1,400 Chimpanzees and Newly Discovered Endangered Plant – scientificamerican.com

Cartographic Education & Resources

Mapping Trouble


  • Coast Guard chopper called in after mapping worker suffers cliff fall – thejournal.ie

Marine Cartography

  • Underwater robot allows scientists to map uncharted Antarctic sea ice – cbsnews.com
  • Mapping the world’s oceans – dw.de
  • Mapping the World’s (Few) Protected Seas – nationalgeographic.com
  • New fauna discovered during six-year project mapping ocean floor off WA’s Kimberley coast – abc.net.au
  • Underwater mapping done, MH370 search set to intensify – atwonline.com

Cartographic Products

Alternative Cartography


President’s Blog: Inside an EC Meeting

The Executive Committee (EC) of the ICA is meeting twice a year to discuss related issues, analyse the performance of the instruments of the organisation and make operational and strategic decisions. But how does an EC meeting work? I want to give you some insight from my subjective perspective.

The meeting dates are set nearly a year beforehand to make sure that most of the ten members of the EC can make it. There are three central roles in preparing an EC meeting: the local host, which takes care of all arrangements needed to host the EC; the Secretary-General, which sets up the agenda, collects all necessary documents and sends hundreds of emails to communicate with all colleagues; and the president, which tries to steer the EC into the currently most important issues by prioritizing the agenda and asking for input, opinions, decisions and allowing and aggregating discussions.

Usually there are a lot of constraints to consider when scheduling such a meeting; most of them have something to do with the “bread jobs” of the EC members. That’s why not all are arriving at the same day and eventually will not leave with the same flight as well. Thus, time is always short and a “quick” start into the agenda is needed to make sure that the time is well used.

The rooms the EC uses for its meetings have something in common, which I would describe as “no-frills” – nothing to distract the colleagues from their work. However, WiFi and a projector are requirements our Secretary-General is insisting on; some of the colleagues – including myself – would add coffee to this basic requirement list :-)

The dynamics of such a meeting are always heterogeneous and hard to predict.  There are routine items to discuss, which eventually take much longer than expected. There might be controversial items to discuss, which are on the agenda since years, which all of a sudden are noted and acclaimed.  This has to do with understanding the EC as a group of persons finding themselves in a permanent process about their views, perspectives and shared and common understandings, rather than in unalterable fixed positions. For this reason major issues of core concern to the ICA – such as commissions, conferences, research directions or publications – are regularly put up for discussion. These discussions are not always leading to the same results but rather reflect that process as well.

Usually, an EC Meeting is accompanied with visits or meetings with representatives of the local host country. This allows interesting insights into the local activities and interests as well as the possibility to socialize with our hosts.

Impression of the last EC meeting in Rio de Janeiro

Impression of the last EC meeting in Rio de Janeiro. From left to right: Menno-Jan Kraak, Tim Trainor, Paulo Menezes, Yaolin Liu, William Cartwright, Derek Clarke, Laszlo Zentai and Anne Ruas

As in every group, also an EC meeting develops group dynamics: There are some who are reluctant, some who are cautious, some who are focused, some who are very well organised and prepared and some, who need the inspiration of the meeting itself to order their thoughts and opinions.

It is amazing to see that there can be a tough discussion with very emotional and opposing arguments but a friendly, calm atmosphere right after that. It is amazing to see that there can be fun and jokes and sharing of stories of private life as well. It is amazing to see, that what all EC members have in common, is their commitment towards cartography and their belief in the importance of the International Cartographic Association. They take responsibility, not because they have been forced to do so, but because they are convinced of the importance of being an EC member. Some of them spend private money and dedicate precious time, which they need to be prepared to argue when they are asked from their boss to justify such a travel. Most of them have leading roles in their respective professional backgrounds and are still able to make themselves available for all kind of roles which might be needed in a volunteer organisation.

They, this is Secretary-General Laszlo Zentai, Past-President William Cartwright, Vice-Presidents Anne Ruas, Derek Clarke, Tim Trainor, Menno-Jan Kraak, Yaolin Liu, Paulo Menezes and Sukendra Martha.

– Georg Gartner

President’s Blog: Rio is prepared!

Rio awaits you for the ICC2015!

The deadline for submitting papers for the upcoming International Cartographic Conference 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, has passed. We are excited to see that an unexpected high number of submissions have been received!

Now the Scientific Committee under the chairmanship of Prof Claudia Robbi Sluter (University of Parana) will look into the quality of the submissions by reviewing every single entry. With this a selection of submissions to the various publication media including Journals, Book and Proceedings will be proposed and authors will get feedback on how they can improve their submissions. Altogether we all can expect a great programme with exciting contributions and sessions, which fits into the impression the Executive Committee just recently got, when they visited the site of the conference and Rio de Janeiro. Our Brazilian Colleagues are working hard, professional and committed. Also the website of the City Administration of Rio de Janeiro is reporting about the visit: ICC 2015 is seen as the highlight for the city inbetween the World Soccer Cup 2014 and the Olympic Games 2016!

Make sure your company, your institution and of course yourself is present at next year’s ICC 2015!

– Georg Gartner