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Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
View our poster series as a contribution to the Sustainable Development

President’s Blog #11: ICC Day-Long Program for National Mapping, Geospatial, and Statistical Agencies – and Updates for Florence…

Dear ICA Colleagues,

We have added a NMA day to the ICC schedule for National Mapping, Geospatial and Statistical Agencies. On Thursday, December 16 a special hybrid program has been organized to present and discuss national efforts toward the transformation of agencies in response to the opportunities posed by the evolving data ecosystem.  The agenda is available here on the ICC website. We encourage you to share this information with your national agencies so that they are aware of this all-day event.  Selected topics are offered by representatives from the United Nations who will share current information on the UN Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF). The IGIF builds on earlier NSDI efforts while filling in the gaps for what is needed for a sustainable national geospatial program, which includes cartography as an important component.

Updates for Florence…

Other updates to help you in planning a successful experience in Florence include:

  1. A full schedule of ICA Commission workshops,
  2. Orienteering,
  3. ICC Congress Gala Dinner,
  4. Tours and Experiences for you and partners and families.

For those planning an in-person experience in Florence, take note of the November 15 deadline to change your registration preference. This is also a good time to finalize travel plans and to regularly monitor requirements for travel to Italy so your are sure to meet the entry requirements.  In my recent experience in traveling internationally, patience and being prepared for the unexpected are suggested!  As I noted in a previous blog, the ICA Executive Committee, 10 individuals from 10 different countries, successfully traveled to Florence in early September to conduct the site visit for the conference.  Florence is an amazing venue for our discipline.  I look forward to your participation in the International Cartographic Conference.

See you in Florence!

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog #10: Promoting Mapping for a Sustainable World at the UN World Data Forum

Dear ICA Colleagues,

The ICA is promoting the recent publication Mapping for a Sustainable World at the UN World Data Forum in Bern, Switzerland, the city of ICA’s origin in 1959. The hybrid event is hosting 700+ in-person registrants where representatives of governments, NGOs, companies, donors and philanthropic organizations and academic institutions and researchers are meeting to advance efforts toward meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the topics are varied, some common themes focus on leaving no one behind; understanding the world through data; and building trust in data and statistics. Discussions are both challenged and stimulated in responding to the questions “how far have we come?” Discussions continue on ideas and plans toward success.

Thomas Schulz and Tim Trainor at the UN World Data Forum

Thomas Schulz and Tim Trainor at the UN World Data Forum
promoting the publication Mapping for a Sustainable World

The ICA in producing the publication in collaboration with the UN, experienced several challenges in working with statistical and geospatial data associated with the SDGs. While these kinds of challenges are not foreign to cartographers, they worked through them in organized and logical ways so that users can benefit from the value offered through effective map design options.

For those of you still having to decide on if you should venture to Florence for the 30th ICC: Many at this Forum are from Africa and Asia, in addition to substantial attendees from Europe. Travel and health protocols are followed while allowing attendees to meet, share, discuss and enjoy the company of friends and colleagues.

I look forward to seeing you in Florence.

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog #9: Greetings from Florence – the site of the 30th ICC (December 2021)!

Dear ICA Colleagues,

This past week, the ICA Executive Committee (EC) met for the first time in person in Florence, Italy since the beginning of the pandemic. It was so wonderful to be in the company of our friends on the EC and also meet with the local organizers of the next International Cartographic Conference. Please note that even in these challenging times for traveling, all 10 members of the EC were in Florence.

A main reason for our meeting was to conduct a site-visit on the plans, program, and facilities for our upcoming 30th International Cartographic Conference in Florence (ICC) in December. Our hosts, Paola Zamperlin, Margherita Azzari and other members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) provided an extraordinary introduction for what all of us will experience in December. The program is very strong, and the facilities for sessions take advantage of a modern university environment. Given that the 30th ICC will have a first-time option for remote participation, the technical requirements are a significant added responsibility for our hosts to which they have responded commendably to accommodate the need.

Remember that the venue is Florence, the seat of the Renaissance, and the EC was treated to a sample of the rich history, beauty, and cuisine that only Florence can offer. The LOC is intertwining the program with some of the most precious sites offered by Florence. Special technical visits and an extraordinary setting for the Opening Ceremony extend your opportunities toward a full conference experience.

While there are many more details that we learned, I wanted to share a few encouraging observations and experiences from our task in conducting the site visit on your behalf. I will follow-up with more details in the coming weeks. This is the time to begin your planning for being with us in December to share what will be a great 30th International Cartographic Conference! Please register now for the conference starting at 14 December. Early-fee registration will close at 17 September.

The photo below of the ICA Executive Committee was taken on September 3 at the Galileo Museum, where the history of science is on display with over 500 books, maps, and atlases on cartography – one of the conference venues.

ICA Executive Committee on September 3 at the Galileo Museum

ICA Executive Committee on September 3 at the Galileo Museum

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

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President’s Blog #8: Upcoming Deadline for Abstract Submissions for ICC2021

Dear ICA Colleagues,

The planning for the International Cartographic Conference in Florence in December is on schedule and our excitement grows in anticipation with each passing day. This is a reminder that for those wanting to submit an abstract for what promises to be an exceptional ICC2021 the extended deadline is Sunday, June 20, 2021. Please see the submission guidelines at www.icc2021.net

The number of full paper submissions for the ICC2021 for consideration as journal articles reached 100, which is an impressive record, and are now under review by the Scientific Program Committee. As you can see, there is an eagerness among all of us to explore beyond our confined spaces to meet each other in Florence.

Registration is now open on the website and you are encouraged to make your plans for attending this historic event. For the business community, this is your chance to announce to the cartographic and geospatial world that you are open for business.

Please share this information with colleagues to promote the 30th International Cartographic Conference in Florence, Italy. I look forward to seeing you in Flroence.

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

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President’s Blog #7: Extension of Deadline for Full Papers for ICC2021

Dear ICA Colleagues,

Planning for our next International Cartographic Conference in December, 2021 continues at a rapid pace. The conference will be a hybrid event and we are planning to see many of you in Florence at the end of this year. The Scientific Program Committee of ICC2021 has received papers and abstracts that will surely add to our experiences. We realize that some of you have been working on your full paper and may have missed the original deadline for submission. To give you a little more time to finish up, the Local Organizing Committee agreed to extend the full paper deadline to Friday, April 9 April 16. An overview of all important dates can be found on the conference website: www.icc2021.net

Please share this information with colleagues to promote the 30th International Cartographic Conference in Florence, Italy.

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

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President’s Blog #6: Revised Dates for Papers and Abstracts for ICC2021

Dear ICA Colleagues,

In my last blog post, I mentioned the decision to move the dates for the ICC2021 in Florence Italy from July to December 14-18, 2021 in response to the current effects of the pandemic. With this extended period, the ICC2021 Local Organizing Committee very recently revised the dates for submitting full papers and abstracts. The new dates are posted on the website and also are provided below:

Full Papers Submission ClosingMarch 19, 2021
Abstracts Submission ClosingMay 28, 2021
Notification Of Acceptance For Full PapersJuly 2, 2021
Notification Of Acceptance For AbstractsJuly 2, 2021
Submission Of Final ManuscriptsJuly 30, 2021

Please share this information with colleagues to promote the 30th International Cartographic Conference in Florence, Italy.

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

 


A former version of this post listed a wrong deadline for abstracts. The correct date is May 28. We apologize for the error.

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President’s Blog #5: Announcing New Dates for ICC2021

Dear ICA Colleagues,

What better way to celebrate the New Year than to announce that the International Cartographic Conference will take place December 14-18, 2021 in Florence, Italy. The change in dates reflects careful planning on the part of the Italian Cartographic Society’s Local Organizing Committee (LOC). It was originally scheduled for July 2021. We all can appreciate how difficult it is to plan the timing for a conference during the pandemic, especially when trying to maneuver the timing of an event that allows for an in-person conference. After much deliberation, the month of July was deemed too risky. The organizers and the ICA Executive Committee concluded and agreed to move the date five months later to December. With so much economic uncertainty, the LOC also planned for and have now settled on a new location in Florence for the event – The University of Florence. The University’s central location, accessibility, and facilities combine to meet all of the conference needs for the ICA.

The change in dates together with a new venue are the reasons for the recent uncertainty regarding published deadlines for papers, abstracts, and the International Map Exhibition. We expect that you will understand the many challenges faced by the LOC and the ICA Executive Committee when several fundamental assumptions in planning a large international event suddenly went amiss because of the pandemic’s long reach.

Announcing a Hybrid Conference Opportunity

The ICC2021 will be a hybrid conference – a chance to participate in person or via remote access. This is the first time that the ICA has offered such a choice. A hybrid event opens access to more participants and now makes it possible for those unable to travel or with limited resources to experience the benefits of an international cartographic event, as long as you have internet access. This is a recent decision and specific details are being formulated to help you decide on your attendance preferences. We anticipate that the hybrid option will highlight selected program content and will not include the full program. Conference registration rates will reflect these distinctions. As more details are decided, information will be posted to the conference website. Future President blogs also will highlight these options and opportunities on the ICA website.

Next steps for each of us

  1. Review the conference website for recent information on deadlines and details. Periodically check the website for updates and new information.
  2. Authors planning to submit a full paper for review have an approaching deadline of January 15. The organizers anticipate that those who are considering this option have been working on their paper to meet prior deadlines and can now submit their work for review by the ICC Scientific Program Committee. If a short extension is needed, please contact the Scientific Program Committee.
  3. The abstract submission deadline is March 26 for consideration either as a full paper in the Proceedings or as stand-alone published abstract. See the ICC website for details.
  4. Conference registration options will be decided soon and will be available to you.
  5. ICA Members (countries and affiliate members) who plan to submit cartographic examples for the International Cartographic Exhibition, see the guidelines at https://www.icc2021.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/ICC_2021_Guidelines_201204_web.pdf.
  6. Sponsors, exhibitors, businesses, and associations that plan to have a presence at the ICC2021, please contact the LOC and check the conference website for details. This international conference is a great opportunity to make your mark in the rebirth of your enterprise coming out of the pandemic.

Contact LOC: https://www.icc2021.net/contacts/

I hope that this information has been informative and helpful. More information will follow but this is a great start for our collective efforts in 2021. I cannot explain to you how excited I am in looking forward to seeing you in Florence in December 2021. Until the next time…

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog #4: Finally, an end to a challenging year … and prospects for a much better 2021

The past year has been an exceptional year for all of us – a time that we will certainly remember for our lifetimes. None of us could foresee what was coming when we shared our holiday wishes a year ago. The COVID-19 pandemic threatened our lives while also destroying many exciting plans for a normal year of activities, both professionally and personally. The pandemic imposed unprecedented challenges to our lives. For the ICA, it disrupted and affected professional collaboration around the world.

Like many international organizations, the ICA community had to adjust to the circumstances. This was not our norm. Many long-planned conferences and meetings had to be cancelled or postponed by their organizers. We could not stand by and let the pandemic rule every aspect of our existence. In response, meetings of the new ICA Executive Committee, the ICA Commissions and new ICA Working Groups shifted to virtual-only environments. We all had to get used to a “new normal” where technology empowered us to keep in touch. One positive outcome of distance meetings, workshops, and conferences was that many more people were able to participate that would not have been able to travel. In a virtual setting, numbers of participants were much higher than expected. While the technology allowed us to continue our programs, we all sorely miss person-to-person meetings with our friends and colleagues…with you.

With all the downsides of 2020 and the personal suffering and daily disruptions caused by the pandemic, we have also seen rays of hope pointing the way to what we expect will be a better new year in 2021. Since the beginning of the crisis, the need for information has increased tremendously worldwide. This need for data also affects us and our discipline as maps provide an essential information medium for our society and for science. We have all seen many vivid examples in recent months – showing the distribution and spread of the virus as well as geovisualizations on how to fight it. The world of cartography and geoinformation has come to the forefront in various ways that helped in addressing the pandemic.

We must admit that these pressing circumstances have initiated a wave of digital transformation in our lives that we would not likely have experienced so quickly in a more normal year. We all discovered new efficient virtual ways of working together across long distances while having a sense that our colleagues were in the room next to us. These previously little used techniques allowed us to be successful in not only maintaining the ICA’s mission, but expanding the activities of our Association by organizing new conferences, establishing new ICA Working Groups and even finding new members! We should and will use this motivation for the coming years, learn from it and continue our progress. The ICA Executive Committee and Commission Chairs have drawn various positive conclusions from this year’s experiences that are guiding us in planning for future activities and events that can be incorporated into those plans.

I am very hopeful that we will return to a more normal time where we will have the opportunity to meet in person again – while continuing to build on our new experiences from the society’s digital transformation. One special event is our next ICC in Florence, Italy which is now planned for December 2021. The conference is a beaming ray of hope where we can experience a second renaissance of humanity – getting together to advance cartography and GIScience. Please register and submit your contributions to this important event.

We wish you and your family, colleagues and friends peaceful holidays and all the best for 2021! We very much look forward to our continuing collaboration with you in the coming year.

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog #3: ICA joins the OGC as Associate Member

OGC logoThe ICA recently joined the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) as an associate member. As an international consortium of more than 500 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities, the OGC focuses on the interoperability of geospatial data, applications and services “to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable” (https://www.ogc.org/).

OGC membership makes it possible for ICA Commission Members to participate in standards development and gives them access to member-only content in the OGC portal. This includes attendance and participation in OGC meetings, voting rights in working groups, and insight into geospatial technology trends with recommendations for actions in the technology forecast report. Additional benefits are the awareness and promotion of the ICA and cartography to a broader public and further intensified contact with leading geospatial organisations.

The Commissions on SDI and Standards, Cognitive Issues in Geographic Information Visualization and Open Source Geospatial Technologies have started regular discussions to coordinate the ICA’s involvement in the OGC. We think that the ICA can make a particular contribution by contributing to the standardization of cartography-specific terminology and by bringing in a user-centred perspective to the technical standards of the OGC through communicating our understanding of what design choices are effective.

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ICA President’s Blog #2 by Tim Trainor

Dear ICA Colleagues,

I hope that everyone is healthy and safe during these continuing times of uncertainty and viral attacks on our well-being. Many of you are working tirelessly to help in managing the pandemic while others are working toward meaningful observations and data collection and synthesis. Still others are making maps on a variety of topics to help leaders, decision-makers and health providers in their daily challenges to arrest and control this deadly virus and its impacts.

There are more unknowns than knowns. Each day brings revelations while we observe the continued spread with little confidence of safety beyond burrowing in our living quarters or cautiously escaping out into spaces with variable public interactions. We face risk each day and we long for a sense of security for ourselves and our families.

What can we do as a cartographic community to help in responding to this frustrating situation? As we do our work, we are experiencing challenges that defy our efforts to provide what we think is needed to help. The absence of specific data at the needed level of resolution may be one example. Accurate data reflecting the necessary time-stamp might be another. Having effective data at helpful geographic areas to make decisions and manage impacts could be another challenge. We know from health experts that to be safer in our current circumstances there is a need to test, trace and isolate new cases until a vaccine is developed and administered to everyone. In order to accomplish these tasks, what data is needed and at what levels of geography?

We, as cartographers, can contribute to the demands for data and visualization aids during this crisis. Last week I participated in a global virtual meeting of the UN expert group on the integration of statistical and geospatial information. This group was formed collaboratively by the UN Statistical Commission and the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management. The current efforts by this expert group could not be more timely. Tasks associated with challenges in integrating statistical and geospatial information include geocoding, common geographies, interoperability, privacy and confidentiality, and capacity building.

Each one of these topics is an issue of the day as we fight our way through the pandemic battle.

No one person has the perfect solution, but together, as we share information, ideas, experiences, failures and successes, we can take the best approaches as they apply to our circumstances by developing tools, techniques, methodologies, data, and technical solutions that will contribute to arresting the impacts of this virus. This is a call for sharing in a pandemic era.

Let’s use the tools available to us such as articles in the ICA News and eCARTO News, submission of research work in cartography and GIScience to the International Journal of Cartography, updates through social media like Facebook, and engagements with colleagues using the virtual tools that make our connections possible.

Be well and stay safe.

– Tim Trainor
President of the International Cartographic Association

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