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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: 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

eCARTO News December 2013

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 the editor of eCARTO News.

General News


  • Mapping the Demise of the Dinosaurs – astrobiology.com
  • Mapping the First World War by Peter Chasseaud – review – theguardian.com
  • Video: Mapping potential profits using satellite data – producer.com
  • The Best Tools for Mapping How your Business Works – boxfreeit.com.au
  • Researchers develop simulation mapping possible pandemics using breakthrough model – slashgear.com
  • Europe’s hazardous highways: mapping the continent’s most dangerous roads – theguardian.com
  • ‘Secret’ labyrinth of tunnels under Rome mapped – foxnews.com
  • Mapping The Wealth Of U.S. ZIP Codes Shows The Haves Hiding From The Have-Nots – fastcoexist.com
  • MoD supplies troops with more up-to-date mapping services – computerworlduk.com

Industry News

  • Microsoft previews new Bing Maps app for Windows 8.1 – theverge.com
  • Google lets users create own Street View – bbc.co.uk
  • Statistics Canada : Surveying and mapping services, 2012 – 4-traders.com
  • Apple Maps’ worldview is now better than Google Maps’ – zdnet.com
  • National Geographic Sharing Its Maps With Google Maps – eweek.com
  • Apple’s 2013 Acquisitions: Maps, Videos and Data – blogs.wsj.com
  • Online Mapping: BI Tool to Watch in 2014 Topo.ly – prunderground.com
  • Google Street View makes travel easier by mapping airports and train stations – theinquirer.net
  • Apple to use PrimeSense 3D to boost indoor mapping, rather than iTV set? – techradar.com
  • MapBox Enables Amazing Custom Maps for Sites and Apps – mashable.com

Extraterrestrial  Mapping

  • Gaia is positioned for its star-mapping launch on an Arianespace Soyuz – spacedaily.com
  • Mapping Molecular Clouds Changes Astronomers Outlook On Starbirth – universetoday.com
  • Titan’s Rivers, Lakes, and Seas Mapped in Incredible Detail – wired.com
  • Satellite’s magnetic mapping mission – phys.org

Alternative Mapping

  • Mapping the Blind Spots: Developer Unearths Secret U.S. Military Bases – mashable.com
  • Do any Android tablets have a mapping system that does not need an internet connection? – telegraph.co.uk
  • When Bratton quit Muslim mapping – capitalnewyork.com
  • Mapping America’s Restless Interstate Migration Without a Map – wired.com

Education and Resources

Retail Cartography

  • Bluetooth Mapping Technology The Answer To Retail Blues – gisuser.com


  • How a former train driver dedicated 26 years to mapping Beijing’s hutongs – scmp.com
  • Can Blaise Agüera y Arcas End Google Maps’ Arms Race With Apple And Microsoft? – fastcompany.com


  • Google Street View has become ‘the backbone’ of Maps – theverge.coma
  • Google’s Road Map to Global Domination – nytimes.com
  • How drivers still prefer a printed map to sat navs: 63 per cent reveal they have used traditional navigation aid in past six months – dailymail.co.uk

Environmental Mapping & Management

  • Ecologists see dangers in poor mapping of Victorian native vegetation – brisbanetimes.com.au
  • APNewsBreak: Western Governors Show Wildlife Maps – abcnews.go.com
  • Mapping disease: the development of a multidisciplinary field – blog.oup.com
  • This map shows where the Chinese coal plants that kill 257,000 a year are – qz.com
  • Mapping The Dinosaur-Killing Yucatan Peninsula Asteroid Impact Site – redorbit.com

Marine Cartography

  • Ocean mapping by UNB group leads to new Arctic ship route – cbc.ca
  • Baird: Finish Arctic mapping – thechronicleherald.ca
  • Aerial mapping begins for Florida Ship Canal route – ocala.com
  • Mapping project to unlock secrets of climate change and ancient supercontinents – phys.org
  • Proteus FZC: An In-Depth Look At Corsica (Mapping) – satnews.com
  • Suncor among 17 oil firms mapping seabed in Norwegian Arctic – business.financialpost.com
  • Canada extends Arctic territorial claim all the way to the North Pole – despite not even mapping area yet – news.nationalpost.com
  • Proteus Provides Satellite-Derived Bathymetric and Seafloor Maps for Military Exercise – amerisurv.com

Cartography Lite

  • A map of all the countries that contribute to a single jar of Nutella – qz.com
  • Mapping redheads: which country has the most? – theguardian.com
  • Magnificent maps and cartographic curiosities – blog.maptia.com

Advisory Board of the “Geo for All” initiative

We are pleased to announce the Advisory Board of the “Geo for All” initiative:

  • Professor Georg Gartner (ICA President & co-chair)
  • Jeff McKenna (OSGeo President & co-chair)
  • Professor Josef Strobl
  • Professor Marguerite Madden
  • Professor Mike Jackson
  • Sven Schade
  • Gavin Fleming
  • Sergio Acosta y Lara
  • Dr Chris Pettit
  • Professor Venkatesh Raghavan
  • Geoff Zeiss
  • Jeroen Ticheler
  • Phillip Davis
  • Arnulf Christl
  • Professor Maria Brovelli
  • Dr Rafael Moreno

The ICA-OSGeo Lab network is a joint initiative of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the International Cartographic Association (ICA). The ICA and OSGeo Presidents will be the co-chairs and permanent members of the Advisory Board. Others will have a 3 year term starting date of the Advisory Board being constituted (1 Dec 2013). The Advisory Board has brought together an excellent range of expertise (academia, government, industry) and geographical distribution (we have nearly all continents covered). Also it brought together members from other key communities ISPRS, AGILE, INSPIRE, UNIGIS etc which will make sure is it a fully inclusive global initiative. The Advisory Board will meet once every six months by telemeeting and AB members will keep an eye on the developments and provide strategic advice to the initiative through various forums.

While there has been tremendous growth in geospatial technology over the last few decades, the number of universities offering courses in geospatial science has not kept pace. Free and open geographic information (GI) software helps make geospatial education available to students from economically poor backgrounds worldwide (removing the need for high cost proprietary GI software). Our key aim is to make it possible for students in developing and poor countries to be also able to get geospatial education. This initiative will bring more opportunities for geospatial education worldwide. Over 50 Open Source Geospatial Labs have already been established in universities around the world as part of this initiative in just two year’s time, and we will be establishing over 100 research labs worldwide by September 2014.

We will have over 500 labs established worldwide in the next five years making us the biggest geospatial education and research network on the planet and we now have a good team of experts to guide us for the future. Welcome to all members of the Advisory Board and we are looking forward to their advice and ideas for expanding this education initiative globally!

We thank all of you for your strong support for this education initiative and it is very happy for us that our initiative has now grown rapidly from very humble beginnings and is helping to widen the benefits of geospatial education opportunities to thousands of students worldwide.

Suchith Anand

Website of Geo for All: http://www.geoforall.org/

eCARTO News November 2013

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 the editor of eCARTO News.

General News

  • Nat Geo Maps Show Big Changes Since First Atlas – news.nationalgeographic.com
  • Esri Story Map Retraces Major Locations and Events in the Life of John F. Kennedy – gisuser.com
  • A treasure trove of relief maps in UW Science Hall – isthmus.com
  • Mapping the many different Americas that make up the United States – irishtimes.com
  • Trendspotting: 6 mapping trends that are good for business – itworld.com
  • National Library of Australia’s Mapping Our World exhibition reveals much about our past – canberratimes.com.au


  • Já.is Launches 360° Street Maps In Iceland – grapevine.is
  • Mapping America’s Restless Interstate Migration Without a Map – wired.com
  • Underwater mapping gets a new dimension in Brevard – floridatoday.com
  • Geospatial data project will let almost anyone put almost anything on map – phys.org

Industry News

  • The holy trail: using Trekker, Google’s edge in the next mapping war – theverge.com
  • We go joyriding in the Google Maps-killer’s ROBO-CAR – theregister.co.uk
  • Big tech scrambles for Israeli firms – ketknbc.com
  • Mission to Map Earth’s Magnetic Field Readies for Takeoff – scientificamerican.com
  • 3D Laser Mapping Launches V-Mapper a New Mobile Mapping System – amerisurv.com
  • Saginaw-based Spicer Group buys $700,000 mobile mapping system for nationwide surveying – mlive.com
  • Google Plus iOS app updates design, adds hi-res media backups and mapping – slashgear.com
  • The Climate Mapping Tool You’ve Been Waiting For – theatlanticcities.com

Extraterrestrial Mapping

3D Mapping

Education and Resources

  • Mapping the possibilities with GIS technology – jsonline.com
  • Armed with GPS units, Highlands Community College students are mapping campus trees – tricities.com
  • Mapping Open Access, or the lack thereof – mhpbooks.com
  • PhD Study in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University with Hong Kong PhD Fellowship – polyu.edu.hk

Political, Health and Social Cartography

  • Mapping Bitcoin – bits.blogs.nytimes.com
  • Mapping the soul of the city – smh.com.au
  • Geographic information systems and logistic regression for high-resolution malaria risk mapping in a rural settlement of the southern Brazilian Amazon – 7thspace.com
  • Entrepreneur says Lassy Project App can help prevent child abduction cases – turnto23.com
  • Nkandla: new hi-res aerial imagery revealed – techcentral.co.za
  • All-island interactive census map shows north, south differences – irishtimes.com
  • Mad Cartographers – aucegypt.edu
  • Military maps to focus on natural disasters, analysis – usatoday.com
  • In the Jungle – vanityfair.com
  • Police use ‘nose telescope’ for cannabis odour mapping – telegraph.co.uk

Personal Security and Safety Mapping

On-line Mapping


  • How drivers still prefer a printed map to sat navs: 63 per cent reveal they have used traditional navigation aid in past six months – dailymail.co.uk
  • Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won – theguardian.com
  • Mapping Modern Britain: How Roads and Maps Have Shaped the UK – breakingtravelnews.com
  • A World Without Maps – online.wsj.com
  • Climbers suggest records wrong on top Myanmar peak – lasvegassun.com

Environmental Mapping & Management

  • Google researchers create first detailed map of global forest change – gcn.com
  • Mapping rice in the Philippines – where – irri.org
  • Mapping tree losses globally, and in Louisville – blogs.courier-journal.com
  • Mapping earthquake faults sputters in California – scpr.org
  • Sierra Leone: EPA-SL On Coastal and Marine Sensitivity Mapping Workshop – allafrica.com
  • Leyte reconstruction: MGB maps ‘no build zones’ – rappler.com
  • Mapping Whole Communities and Their Homes with Thermal Images to Reduce Heat Loss – theenergycollective.com
  • Two Young Explorers Create First Map of the Future Patagonia National Park – newswatch.nationalgeographic.com
  • On the hunt for European frog-bit – ourmidland.com

CrowdSourcing and Social Media


Art in Cartography

  • Art and the city: Mapping the roads of Karachi for the routes best travelled – tribune.com.pk
  • Iconic Australia map – redbubble.com

Scam Cartography

Cartography Lite

  • USGS Report on Thanksgiving Themed Placenames Around the United States – goldrushcam.com


Commissions at a glance

During ICC 2013 all commission chairs presented their commissions in a speed presentation. You can check out the presentation slides below (or via our ICC 2013 sub-page).

ICA at the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO

37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO

37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO

Anne Ruas at the ICA booth

Anne Ruas at the ICA booth

The ICA was present during the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, November 2013, Paris. Anne Ruas run a booth and gave a talk to present the activities of our association during the Non Governmental Organizations event. The role of map and geographical information for development and education was particularly emphasized. Having a better, quicker description of our world, its resources, its events, is a major importance.

The ICA is a leading international organization that plays an important role to improve the expertise and processes to make the information more readable and more accessible for all. Different contacts were taken with other organizations from Mali or Kenya such as SIL International which deals with the studies of minority languages and cultures around the world.

Category: General News

Orienteering and ICA

runnerOrienteering is the most “cartographic” sport; this is the main reason why an orienteering event is regularly part of the ICA international cartographic conferences. There are not too many cartographers who practice orienteering: most of them don’€™t know this sport at all. In the last few conferences, we had a session (or at least some presentations) on orienteering maps. Now we opened a new website section on ICC orienteering events with maps and photos (of events and sessions). Suggestions and corrections are welcome.

Category: General News

President’s Blog: It’s OK to be a Cartographer!

A graffiti wall in Dresden, 2013

A graffiti wall in Dresden, 2013

In my opening address at the International Cartographic Conference 2013 in Dresden, Germany I argued, that there is quite some confusion about the status, relevance and importance of Cartography. While the term “map” is most popular and sees its arrival in big business debates amongst major software companies, in mass market applications related to new technologies such as mobile devices or in the mass media, the term cartography provokes the question “Is that still around?” It is more likely that those, who are involved in making maps nowadays call themselves not a cartographer but rather something else.

I argued further, that the enormous relevance of the ever growing amount of geodata and geoinformation can only be “unleashed” when it becomes accessible to human users. To make geodata and geoinformation accessible to human users means to try to package it in a way that it can be perceived, “digested” and used, thus simply communicated. I argued further, that this was and is exactly the aim and contribution of cartography. Maps are most successful in being the interface between spatial data and human users. They order information based on the spatial attribute, they engage to explore, the can be entertaining, they help to become spatially aware, they tell stories, they help me to position myself in a particular topic by showing entities and their relations.

I argued that without this contribution we would be somehow “spatially blind.” Maps enable us to answer space-related questions. Maps can be used to support spatial behaviour. I argued further, that in order to enable spatial thinking, spatial planning, spatial reasoning or decision making cartography is needed. I pointed out that maps are the most successful and powerful instruments to enable spatial awareness.

By looking at those arguments as a way to describe the relevance of cartography as a discipline and the enormous drive and popularity cartography gets from applying most contemporary technologies I argued in my take-away messages:

  1. Cartography is relevant
  2. Cartography is attractive
  3. Cartography is most contemporary

If my arguments are trueg, then there is no need to step back or hide away as a cartographer but rather the other way around. It is of high importance that cartography and cartographers are actively contributing their skills, knowledge, methods and research to the geospatial domains.

I therefore argued, that
It is OK, to be a Cartographer!

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association