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Join us for the 28th International Cartographic Conference in Washington, DC!
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
New ICA poster series on Maps and Sustainable Development Goals

President’s blog: ICA’s external relations

Some of you might be aware that ICA is a member of the Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies (JBGIS).

It is a coalition of the Presidents, Secretary-Generals or equivalent office bearers or their nominees that lead recognized international organizations involved in the coordination, development, management, standardization or regulation of geospatial information and related matters. Currently there are nine members. The chair is rotating among the societies.

The Joint board has always been our voice toward the UN. The UN-GGIM has now formally recognized us as one of their thematic groups.

The other groups are an academic network and a private sector network. Because of this recognition we have changed our name from JBGIS to UN-GGIM: Geospatial Societies (UN-GGIM GS).

– Menno-Jan Kraak
President of the International Cartographic Association

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

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