The following Statutes and By-Laws are as amended by the 19th General Assembly held in Cape Town on 13 and 18 August 2023.
- English (PDF, 290kB)
A. Aims of the Association
The International Cartographic Association (ICA) has the following aims:
- Advancing the study of cartographic or geographic information (GI) science issues. In particular it is concerned with the processing, storage and analysis of source material and the design, construction, reproduction and display techniques of maps and associated forms of graphic communications. To this end, co-operation with different branches of geodetic, geographic, geospatial and other scientific research disciplines is desirable.
- Initiating, fostering and co-ordinating research in cartography and GI science, involving the co-operation between different member states, the exchange of ideas and documents, the furtherance of education and training in cartography and GI science, and encouraging the dissemination of cartographic and GI science knowledge.
- Organising international and regional conferences, meetings, exhibitions and outreach programmes, and participation in similar meetings facilitated by other organisations.
- Establishing commissions and working groups to work on issues of particular interest to cartography and GI science.
- Promoting and ensuring equity in all matters and at all levels of responsibility within the Association and amongst its members.
The ICA subscribes to the Principles of Freedom and Responsibility in Science of the International Science Council, which «promotes equitable opportunities for access to science and its benefits, and opposes discrimination based on such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political or other opinion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or age.» (Art. 7 of the ISC Statutes).
The International Cartographic Association (ICA) will consider applications for grants to support individuals in advancing their career in cartography and GIScience to the benefit of the ICA community.
B. Incorporation into an existing international scientific organisation
The ICA may be affiliated with other international organisations.
C. Member state representation
Any state which pursues a cartographic, geospatial or GI science activity can be accepted as a member state of the ICA provided that it agrees to participate financially in supporting the Association, actively collaborates in its scientific and technical activities, and fully accepts and supports in all its activities the ICA aims and codes of conduct as specified in Article 1 and other corresponding ICA guidelines.
Each member state can only be represented by one single organisation, which should preferably be the national society or committee for cartography, geospatial or GI science or a national mapping agency/authority. Thus, a member state is represented by a member state organisation such as one of these.
Furthermore, the ICA can accept requests for affiliated membership from international, regional or local scientific, technical or other organisations made for the purpose of collaborating in its activities, and without compromising the principle of single representation of each member state in the official functioning of the Association or affecting the methods of voting as described in Articles 4, 26 and in By-Law 5.
Application to become a member state or an affiliate member shall be made by writing to the Secretary General and Treasurer and may be approved by the Executive Committee subject to ratification at the next General Assembly of Delegates. Such new member may exercise their rights of membership, except voting, upon the approval from the Executive Committee in the interim period.
Every member state has the right to one vote in the General Assembly of Delegates. For this purpose, each member state is represented at the General Assemblies of the Association by a principal delegate and by a deputy, who may vote in the absence of the principal delegate. However, at the request of the Executive Committee, the General Assembly may withdraw the right to vote from member states who have failed to fulfil one or all of its obligations in accordance with its membership in the Association as given in Article 3.
The task of each member state organisation is to facilitate and co-ordinate, within in its member state, the study and development of the different aspects of cartography, geospatial and GI science. Every member state or affiliate member, either individually or in conjunction with one or more of the other member states or other affiliate members, can submit motions (see Article 10) to the Association, which are appropriate to the Association for discussion.
Each member state organisation prepares a report to each General Assembly on the cartographic, geospatial and GI science activities in their state during the previous four years.
D. Official Organisations of the Association
- the General Assembly of Delegates (see Articles 7–11)
- the Executive Committee (see Articles 12–14)
- the Office of the Secretary General and Treasurer (see Article 16)
- Commissions and Working Groups (see Article 24)
- the Publications Committee (see Article 27)
- the Statutes and By-Laws Committee (see Article 28)
- the Selection of Award Recipients Committee (see By-Law 4)
E. The General Assembly of Delegates
The General Assembly of Delegates is formed from the principal delegates of each member state and their deputies, who are able to attend, and the members of the Executive Committee.
If the Executive Committee so permits, additional delegates may attend the General Assembly of Delegates as observers.
A member state, which is represented on the Executive Committee, can nominate that committee member as its principal delegate with the right to vote.
Normally, the President of the Association will preside at the General Assembly.
The General Assembly of Delegates
- ratifies the minutes of the previous General Assembly.
- decides on the Statutes, By-Laws and policies of the Association.
- ratifies the membership of new members, which have been considered and approved by the Executive Committee.
- ratifies the suspension or termination of existing memberships, which have been considered and approved by the Executive Committee.
- may exclude from membership any member which has failed to fulfil one or all of its obligations or for which affiliation with the Association is not in accordance with the aims and principles of the Association as given in Article 1 and 3.
- elects the President, the Secretary General and Treasurer, the Vice-Presidents and two auditors.
- receives the reports of the Executive Committee and the Commissions and Working Groups for the previous period of office.
- decides on the budget and the resources available for the following (four-year) period.
- determines the programme of activities in general and decides, in principle, on planned activities or meetings, including the next meeting of the General Assembly.
- establishes Commissions, elects the chairpersons of Commissions and approves the terms of reference, subject to the provisions of Article 24.
The General Assembly of Delegates will normally meet every four years.
At each General Assembly the time and place of the next meeting will be decided or, if this is impractical, the decision will be made by the Executive Committee.
In special circumstances, with the agreement of the Executive Committee, the President has the right to call an Extraordinary General Assembly. The President is also obliged to do so if one third of the member states demand it.
As a rule, the General Assembly will be held in conjunction with an International Cartographic Conference (ICC).
Extraordinary General Assemblies may also be held in conjunction with Regional Cartographic or other conferences. The President takes the final decision on the location.
The agenda of every General Assembly of Delegates is decided upon by the Executive Committee. In the case of an ordinary General Assembly, it will be communicated to the representative of each member state three months before the General Assembly of Delegates takes place. For an Extraordinary General Assembly a deadline of one month applies.
In order to make this feasible, member states, who want to bring an issue to the agenda of an ordinary General Assembly, must propose a motion on that issue in writing to the Secretary General and Treasurer at least five months before the date of the General Assembly. See also By-Law 8.
Motions not listed on the agenda cannot be brought to that Assembly for a decision. However, the President is entitled to accept such motions, but for discussion only.
Decisions at the General Assembly shall be taken by a simple majority vote of delegates who have the right to vote.
However, if at least two delegates, or the Executive Committee, make a request, the vote shall be taken by ballot. Should there be an equal division of vote, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
Voting by proxy will not be permitted and no delegate shall represent or vote for any other member state.
F. The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of the Association consists of the following members:
- The President of the Association, who presides over all regular and extraordinary General Assemblies, the meetings of the Executive Committee, International Cartographic Conferences and acts as the main representative of the Association.
- A Past President, who shall serve for one term following the term of President. The office of Past President may remain vacant.
- Five to seven Vice-Presidents, the exact number to be decided at the General Assembly of Delegates. They assist the President in the performance of his or her different duties.
- A Secretary General and Treasurer, who is responsible for the administration and the general running of the Association.
The duties to be conducted by Executive Committee members are specified in the reference document Duties and Responsibilities of ICA Officers.
No member state may have more than one representative on the Executive Committee.
The President, the Vice-Presidents and the Secretary General and Treasurer shall be elected by the General Assembly of Delegates and shall hold office until the end of the following General Assembly.
They can be re-elected, but may not serve for three consecutive terms in the same position.
In the event of a vacancy arising in the Executive Committee in the period between two General Assemblies, the Executive Committee, after consultation with the member state, which the person represented, will appoint a replacement from the same member state to serve until the next General Assembly at which a new Executive Committee is elected. If a vacancy arises in the Presidency or in the position of the Secretary-General and Treasurer, an Acting President or Acting Secretary-General and Treasurer will be elected by the Executive Committee. The Secretary General and Treasurer or the President shall organise the election as soon as possible following the vacancy.
The Executive Committee is responsible for the general functioning of the Association and represents it wherever necessary.
A quorum of half the members of the Executive Committee, plus one, is required to validate decisions of the Committee. It prepares, organises and documents the General Assembly of Delegates, and it oversees the International Cartographic Conferences and other meetings. It may form Working Groups.
It prepares guidelines and rules for the formation and operation of Commissions and Working Groups, including their functioning and reporting, and the managing of funds allocated for their support. It examines and, if necessary, modifies proposed terms of reference, in discussion with the proposed Commission chairpersons before presentation to the General Assembly for decision.
It meets at least once a year, but may meet whenever deemed necessary, at the invitation of the President or by request from at least three of its members.
The members of the Executive Committee perform their duties without remuneration.
The time and place of the International Cartographic Conference between General Assemblies is determined by the Executive Committee.
The domicile of the Association is Switzerland.
An office may be installed at the domicile of the Association. It reports to the Secretary General and Treasurer.
Such an office may have paid employees, whose salaries are to be determined by the Secretary General and Treasurer with the approval of the Executive Committee.
The Auditors are elected by the General Assembly of Delegates for the period between two successive General Assemblies. The Secretary General and Treasurer submits to them, in good time, all necessary documents to enable them to render to the General Assembly, a complete report on the accounts, and on the financial position of the Association. This report has to be presented to the Executive Committee before the Delegates meet.
The Auditors have, at all times, the right to carry out any checks and inspections which seem necessary to them. They perform their duties without remuneration.
They can be re-elected.
G. Budgets, Funds
The amount of the annual subscription unit will be determined periodically by the General Assembly of Delegates by means of a by-law (By-Law 2). This subscription provides the operating budget for the Association.
The income of the Association is to be devoted to paying for:
- the cost of administration.
- travel costs within the limits decided by the Secretary General and Treasurer.
- the remuneration of any paid staff in the ICA office.
- any purchase designed to achieve the general purposes of the Association as approved by the General Assembly.
- ICA scholarships.
Each member state and affiliate member is responsible for paying the annual subscription.
If a member state or affiliate member wishes to leave ICA, the membership fee for the year in which it expresses its intention to leave the Association is due. The final decision is taken by the General Assembly, according to Art. 8.
If a member state has not paid its subscription for three consecutive years, the Executive Committee may decide that it shall be given observer status until payment is made. If they fail or refuse to pay until the following General Assembly, they will cease to form part of the Association by a decision taken by the General Assembly of Delegates.
If an affiliate member organisation has not paid its subscription for three consecutive years, they will cease to form part of the Association by a decision taken by the General Assembly of Delegates.
H. Organisation of activities
According to Articles 1, 5, 8 and 14 the Association organises different types of activities in order to achieve its aims. The details of such activities are to be decided by the Executive Committee.
International Cartographic Conferences (ICC) may be called by the Executive Committee independently of the regular General Assemblies of Delegates, but preferably they should, if possible, be co-ordinated with them regarding time and location (see Article 9).
The General Assembly of Delegates entrusts, to one of the member states, the organisation of an ICC. The host state shall decide the programme subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.
Special meetings, called joint meetings, may be organised together with other organisations. The Executive Committee decides, in each case, on the time, place and working programme of such joint meetings.
The General Assembly of Delegates may establish commissions for the execution of important cartographic, geospatial and GI science tasks. The tenure of office of a Commission is limited to the period between two General Assemblies, but may be extended for another period by a vote at a General Assembly of Delegates.
A Commission is chaired by an individual, who is to be elected at each General Assembly. The General Assembly shall, at the same time, approve terms of reference for that Commission. The maximum tenure for commission chairs is two consecutive terms. A commission also includes a number of other members invited by its chairperson. A number of corresponding members may also be selected. In the event of a vacancy in the chair of a Commission occurring between General Assemblies, a new chairperson shall be appointed by the Executive Committee having regard to the recommendations of the members of the Commission. After approval of the Executive Committee a Commission may allocate a part of its work to a national institution, official or private, or to individual persons.
Between two successive General Assemblies the Executive Committee may form Working Groups, whose chairpersons it appoints and whose mandate it defines.
Commissions and Working Groups are required to present reports of their work at least annually to the Executive Committee and to each General Assembly of Delegates.
The General Assembly may authorise participation by the Association in formal joint Working Groups with other international organisations.
The President may set up Task Forces for solving special tasks or projects that have to be performed urgently.
The President of the Association is entitled to invite to General Assemblies, International Cartographic Conferences, Symposia or Joint Meetings, suitable additional persons as observers or guests, including persons who are not from a member state of the ICA.
At Commission and Working Group meetings, all participants have the right to vote on purely scientific or technical questions. But if the issue is on the general conduct or on the administration or financial matters of the Association, it should be handled by General Assemblies. Meetings at which decisions are made shall be documented by minutes. Conferences, symposia and joint meetings may adopt resolutions. All participants have the right to one vote each in the adoption of a resolution.
All publications of the Association require the approval of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will arrange for the publication of a bulletin or newsletter concerning the activities of the Association and its member states, and facilitate the publication of papers on cartography, geospatial and GI science.
For consideration of other publications, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Publications Committee. The tenure of office of the Committee shall be the same as the Executive Committee, but the members may be re-appointed. The Publications Committee will examine proposals for publications (including commission reports), approve plans in terms of production, format and style, budgets and expenditure and distribution arrangements.
I. Changes to the Statutes, duration and dissolution of the Association
Motions concerning changes in the Statutes must be received in writing by the Executive Committee at least five months before the General Assembly of Delegates.
Provided this is done, the Executive Committee must present to the General Assembly any motion for changes in Statutes and include the motion on the agenda for the General Assembly (see also Article 10).
The Executive Committee may itself propose motions for changes in the Statutes and the adoption, modification or rescinding of By-Laws to be included on the agenda for the General Assembly of Delegates. The Executive Committee may establish a Committee on Statutes and By-Laws for advice.
In order for a motion to be accepted, an absolute majority of the votes expressed by the principal delegates attending the General Assembly of the Association is necessary.
Changes in Statutes are effective immediately after being adopted.
Within the framework of these Statutes, the General Assembly of Delegates shall have the power to adopt By-Laws. These may be adopted, modified or rescinded by a simple majority of votes expressed by the principal delegates attending the General Assembly.
Changes in By-Laws take effect immediately after being adopted.
A decision to dissolve the Association is only valid with the consent of at least two-thirds of the member states.
In the case of dissolution, the funds of the Association will be placed, by the General Assembly of Delegates or the Executive Committee, at the disposal of one or several international scientific organisations, whose aims are closely related to cartography, geospatial or GI science.
K. Official Languages
The official languages are French and English. Other additional languages may be used if the necessary translation facilities can be provided.
In cases of doubt on the interpretation of the statutes the French text only shall be used in deciding the meaning given to the Articles.
- Each member state subscription to the ICA shall be expressed in subscription units. All adhering member states are divided into categories, numbered I to VII, and will pay annually the number of subscription units specified in that category.
- The categories and subscription units shall be as follows:
- Category I: 1 subscription unit
- Category II: 2 subscription units
- Category III: 3 subscription units
- Category IV: 4 subscription units
- Category V: 6 subscription units
- Category VI: 8 subscription units
- Category VII: 10 subscription units
- Each member state shall propose the category into which it wishes to be classed when joining the Association. The Executive Committee may refuse a proposal if the category chosen is believed to be inappropriate. Any member state can ask the Executive Committee to change its category, if new circumstances require.
- The amount of the subscription unit, and the currency or currencies in which the subscription will be made, will be determined by the General Assembly on recommendation by the Executive Committee.
- The subscription for Affiliate members, as defined in By-law 5(a), is set as follows:
- Category I: 1 subscription unit
- Category II: 1 subscription units
- Category III: 2 subscription units
- Category IV: 2 subscription units
- Category V: 10 subscription units
- Category VI: no fee payable
The above listed subscription units represent the minimum fee for each category. Each affiliate member may pay additional subscription units if it wishes to do so.
The annual subscription is € 250 per unit.
The ICA may grant to outstanding cartographers such awards and honours as are approved by the Executive Committee upon the recommendation of a Committee for the Selection of Award Recipients.
The President shall appoint a Committee for the Selection of Award Recipients after each General Assembly to serve until the next General Assembly. The Committee shall consist of five representatives, each from a different member state. No more than two representatives can hold concurrent membership of the Executive Committee.
- For the purpose of affiliation as described in Article 3 the following categories shall apply:
- Educational establishments,
- National cartographic, geospatial or GI science societies other than the member state organisation,
- Scientific organisations and technical organisations,
These include academic, research or technical institutes, or other scientific or technical bodies, governmental or autonomous.
- Nationally operating private firms / companies,
These include such organisations that are engaged in the development, production or manufacture of cartographic, geospatial or allied equipment or products.
- Internationally operating private firms / companies,
These include such organisations that are engaged in the development, production or manufacture of cartographic, geospatial or allied equipment or products.
- UN bodies.
- Application for affiliation in category (a) (2) must be submitted to the Executive Committee with a letter of support from the member state.
- Application for affiliation in categories (a) (1) to (a) (5) must be submitted to the Executive Committee.
ICA member nations and affiliates shall be entitled to the following services:
- Access to a unique network of professionals and institutions in Cartography, Geospatial and GI Science.
- Invitation to all ICA International Cartographic Conferences.
- Access to ICA publications.
- Access to all Reports presented to ICA General Assemblies.
- Access to the published collection of presented conference papers when made available.
- Access to educational information published by ICA.
- Contributing in exhibitions and participating in competitions organised by ICA.
- Access to the ICA scholarship programme.
- Access and contributing to all official ICA communication channels.
Upon request, the ICA may support conferences, seminars and symposia in member states or in conjunction with affiliates.
All member states and affiliate members may propose representatives for each commission for consideration by the chairperson of that commission.
Nominations for President, Secretary General and Treasurer, and Vice-President of the Executive Committee, and nominations of chairpersons of commissions, duly proposed by their respective member states, must be received by the Secretary General at least five months prior to the date determined for the General Assembly of Delegates. Such nominations must be accompanied by an indication in writing from the candidate that he/she is willing to serve, supported by a brief CV.
Any person can be nominated for only one position of Executive Committee member (President, Secretary General and Treasurer, and Vice-President), commission chair or auditor.
In order to ensure that the commission is fulfilling their approved terms of reference, the Executive Committee, as a last resort, may take appropriate action: recommend that the nominating member state replace the commission chairperson; refuse access to funding; remove them from the listings of current commissions; and remove ICA endorsement for their activities.
The foregoing Statutes and By-Laws are as written or amended by the 19th General Assembly held in Cape Town, South Africa, on 18 August 2023.