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

Working Group on the History of ICA

Last year, the International Cartographic Association (ICA) celebrated its 60th anniversary. This milestone called for a professional approach to documenting and preserving records of our mature organisation and its rich heritage. In response, the ICA Executive Committee approved the formation of the ICA Working Group on the History of ICA at their meeting in Ghent in November 2019.

In brief, the Terms of Reference (ToR) focus on three broad areas:

  • ICA Archives – to build the Association’s archives and records
  • ICA Chronicle – to document ICA activities and achievements
  • ICA Hub – to provide support and expertise on matters relating to ICA

We are interested to hear from anyone who is willing to share their ICA archives and collections – documents, records, official correspondence, publications, photographs, conference materials, promotional brochures, and any other items of relevance. In particular, we are seeking your help with collating a full set of Minutes from the ICA General Assemblies. This task seems to be particularly challenging; we are currently missing documents from the:

  • 5th General Assembly held in Moscow in 1976 (we only have a brief report)
  • 7th General Assembly held in Perth in 1984
  • 8th General Assembly held in Morelia in 1987
  • 9th General Assembly held in Bournemouth in 1991

We would appreciate hearing back from anyone that could help us in completing the set.

Since the Working Group is still at its formation stage, we are looking forward to welcoming new members that can support our work, particularly in fulfilling Terms of Reference. If you are interested, please visit our website and get in touch.

Igor Drecki
Chair, Working Group on the History of ICA

Category: History of ICA
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First joint meeting of the ICA Executive Committee and new Commissions in Gent

On 23–24 November the entire Executive Committee met for the first joint working meeting with the newly elected Commission chairs (List of Commissions). Altogether, 22 out of 28 Commissions were present during the meeting in Gent, either through their chair or vice-chair.

On two exciting, busy working days Commission representatives and ICA officials got to know each other (better), learned about administrative guidelines and procedures for a smooth cooperation and dedicated themselves to common strategic tasks for the next four years. The President pointed out once more the important role that Commissions play in our society – it is through commissions, where the actual thematic work of ICA will be done that finally brings forward our discipline, advances cartography as a science and sets the standards for the quality and usage of our work.

During the first day, the EC members and Commission representatives actively discussed «burning issues» for all commissions and how the society and members in general could even better help commissions to achieve their goals. The second day was followed by a presentation on the new ICA publication on the UN Sustainable Development Goals which was the successful result of a joint commission effort in the past. The final topic to conclude the meeting consisted of an intense discussion and group work on the best means and ways to join forces between commissions, which lead to already very concrete steps for the near future.

The next joint meeting of the Executive Committee and the ICA Commissions will take place on 19 September 2020 in Vienna on the occasion of the EuroCarto 2020 conference. ICA President Tim Trainor and Secretary General Thomas Schulz already look forward to this meeting and seeing the first results of our work commences in Gent.

We thank everyone present for making the long way to Belgium and actively participate in this fantastic meeting!

 

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Outcome of the first meeting of the new ICA Executive Committee in Gent

On 22 November the newly elected Executive Committee met for the first physical meeting during the 2019‒2023 term in Gent (Belgium).

A full day of intense discussions and a huge list of work items on the desk set out the agenda for ICA for the next four years. Following ICA’s Strategic Plan and the President’s motto, that «Maps make a difference» and that «Cartography is more relevant than ever today in an increasingly complex world», the EC discussed next steps and necessary actions in order to reach these goals and make our discipline and society visible and heard by decision makers and a larger audience.

The Executive Committee at the commission meeting in Ghent, Belgium

The Executive Committee at the commission meeting in Ghent, Belgium

Achieving the goals of the next term is of course a collaborative project that the EC, national members, affiliate members and ICA commissions need to undertake together. Every member of the Executive Committee has an important role to play in this context as a coordinator, enabler and facilitator. Hence, each EC member were given specific tasks and roles for the next four years. And all Vice-Presidents were assigned a liaison with commissions and working groups. The list of Liaisons for all current ICA commissions can be found here: https://icaci.org/executive-committee/

4 new Working Groups for the term 2019‒2023

As some of the strategic tasks that the new Executive Committee wants to tackle during the next term are very specific or transversal in character and not fully covered by existing commission work, four new Working Groups were set up by the EC during the meeting:

  • Cartography and Sustainable Development (Philippe De Maeyer)
  • Cartographic Body of Knowledge (Terje Midtbø)
  • History of ICA (László Zentai)
  • New Research Agenda in Cartography (Liqiu Meng)

The respective EC members (in brackets) will help with startup and organization, find members and supporters, and lay out the work schedule for the next 4 years.

Nominations of Heads of Committees and ICA Officers

Furthermore, the EC nominated the new Heads of ICA Committees and Officers to the ICA Secretariat who will help to keep the society running and inform members and the public in the best possible way through the various channels. Congratulations to the following nominations for the next term 2019-2023! It is a pleasure to work (or continue to work) together with this excellent team!

  • Publication Committee – Georg Gartner (AT)
  • Statutes and By-laws Committee – Derek Clarke (SA) & Christine Zanine (FR)
  • Selection of Award Recipients Committee – Ferjan Ormeling (NL)
  • eCarto Newsletter Editor – David Fraser (AU)
  • ICA News Editor – Igor Drecki (NZ)
  • ICA Webmasters – Manuela Schmidt & Felix Ortag (AT)
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President’s Blog: Gerhard Mercator

Gerhard Mercator

Gerhard Mercator.
Engraving by Frans Hogenberg.

In the year 2012 the world of cartography is celebrating the 500th Birthday of Gerhard Mercator. What Isaac Newton might be for the domain of physics and Charles Darwin for the discipline of biology is Mercator for the domain of Cartography, an outstanding representative who has influenced the discipline in a unique way.

By looking at the life and work of Gerhard Mercator one can argue, that not only his remarkable maps, globes, atlas and projection should be remembered, but also his attitude as person and mapmaker.

Cartographers like to get hold of data sources, validate and cross-check them, aggregate and order the derived information in a useful way and display that information by applying good design with the possibilities contemporary technologies offer. This is what Mercator has done in his times and this is what cartography is aiming to do with nowadays tools as well.

Several activities are taking place in the year 2012 to acknowledge Mercator’s birthday. One of those has taken place just recently close to his birthplace “Rupelmonde” in the Belgian city of Sint-Niklaas. ICA Commission Chair Philippe de Maeyer and his staff from the University of Gent managed to organize a most interesting programme including visits to the worldwide only permanent Mercator-museum and an excellent temporary “Mercator Digitaal” exhibition.

The opportunity to look at artefacts being produced by somebody like Gerhard Mercator can be recommended to all nowadays cartographers and GI scientists as I found it a true inspiration for the acknowledgement of the beauty and the challenges of our discipline.

If you know of further Mercator-related events, feel free to post them in the comments.

The last Map of the Month for this year is online: Parc National des Virguna

This month’s ICA Map of the Month is a map based on a satellite image and depicts the Parc National des Virguna.
At the last ICC in Chile it won the first jury prize in the category “Maps based on satellite images and remote sensing”.

Get more information and zoom in on the map!

Category: General News
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