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Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic AssociationGet to know the ICA Executive CommitteeICA awards scholarships for early career scientists to participate in official ICA events
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
Get to know the ICA Executive Committee
ICA awards scholarships for early career scientists to participate in official ICA events

Honorary Fellowship for Monique Pelletier

Monique Pelletier was born in 1934. She is a graduate of the Ecole des Chartes (National School of Palaeography and Archival Studies), the French school created in 1821 which contributes to the professional training of executives (chief archivists, librarians and curators) responsible for preserving and making available France’s cultural heritage.

Monique Pelletier obtained her diploma of Archivist Palaeographer after defending her PhD on the “Great Council from Charles VII to François 1st”. Her studies on the history of cartography are founded on her large knowledge of the French monarchy and its institutions in the XVI century, a particularly complex period in Europe history.

Appointed as Conservator at the French National Library in 1960, she was first in charge of developing the Book Catalogue of the Library (1960-1969). In 1976 she became Chief of the Department of Maps and Plans, and transformed her department into a modern and open map library, encouraging and herself participating in the research activity on the history of cartography. These activities pushed her to contribute actively to several international networks (IFLA, LIBER, IMAGO MUNDI and the ICA).

Within ICA, she succeeded Helen Wallis to lead the Commission of History of Cartography from 1987 to 1995. She also led the French Committee of Cartography from 1988 to 1998. Today as an Honorary Member of the Committee she is directing the publication of the journal Le Monde des Cartes. Always keenly involved in her research activities, she has participated in conferences, organised meetings and published many reports.

Her bibliography is lengthy and includes major volumes on cartographic development in France. It is summarized in a book produced for her retirement and focused on her career in cartography: Monique PELLETIER Tours et contours de la Terre : itinéraires d’une femme au cœur de la cartographie (Monique Pelletier – Rounds around the Earth : the itinerary of a woman in the heart of cartography), Presse de l’ENPC, 1999.
Her most recent book, published in 2009, is entitled: De Ptolémée à La Guillotière XV-XVIe siècles. Des cartes pour la France : pourquoi? comment? (From Ptolemy to La Guillotière, XV-XVI century: maps for France, why, how?), CTHS Edition, 2009.

Category: General News

Jacques Bertin (1918–2010)

Jacques Bertin was born in 1918 in Maisons-Laffite. He studied geography at La Sorbonne. In 1954 he created the Cartographic Laboratory of the École pratique des hautes etudes (EPHE) and became its director. Later he was director of the Graphics Laboratory of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), before becoming a researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Jacques Bertin worked on the efficacy of thematic maps and their design improvements. He analysed visual effects on the transmission of information and the necessity for classification and application of hierarchy to data by means of different processes, including the ordered matrix. Bertin’s ground breaking research brought him international recognition, especially his work on semiotics and the subsequent publication of the famous Sémiologie Graphique. Les diagrammes, les réseaux, les cartes in 1967, with two new editions appearing in 1973 and 1999.

Jacques Bertin was the Chair of the Commission on Terminology of the French Committee of Cartography. He received the prestigeous Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal at the 1999 ICA Conference in Ottawa, the highest award of the International Cartographic Association awarded to cartographers of outstanding merit who have made significant contributions of an original nature to the field of cartography.

He died in Paris on 3 May 2010.

In honour of Jacques Bertin and to celebrate his work and contribution to cartography, the French Committee of Cartography added two special sessions to the programme of ICC 2011 in Paris. On Monday, 4 July, Gilles Palsky will officially present Jacques Bertin’s life and work. Following this, different cartographers from around the world will present their research either inspired or influenced by Bertin. Last but not least, a special Café Carto dedicated to Jacques Bertin will be arranged.

Anne Ruas, Comité Français de Cartographie


Esri Press has recently republished Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps by Jacques Bertin.

This cartographic classic has continuously held its place of significance. Now, with a new epilogue written by the author shortly before his death, this new 2010 edition in English reawakens us to the information design possibilities of modern technology. Bertin was thrilled to know that this book would be coming out and that there was still immense interest in his work and dedication to keeping it alive. For ordering, visit esripress.esri.com/display/index.cfm.

Category: General News

Map of the Month May is from France and combines nautical and terrestrical maps

This month’s ICA Map of the Month is the map SCAN Littoral® chart of the golfe du Morbihan (Brittany). It was published as a joint project between the French Navy Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOM) and the French National Geographic Institute (IGN). It consists of a seamless merging of SHOM’s nautical charts and IGN’s terrestrial maps. At the last ICC in Chile it won the second jury prize in the category “hydrography or maritime navigational charts”.

Get more information and have a look inside at the ICA website!

Category: General News

Jacques Bertin is awarded the Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal

Jacques Bertin in 1971

Jacques Bertin in 1971

The work ‘Semiologie Graphique’ published in 1967 by Professor Jacques Bertin has touched more than a generation of cartographers. Training in map design throughout the world discusses Jacques Bertin’s ideas. The book has been translated into several languages, and Jacques Bertin’s ideas are present in all introductory cartography books today. The ICA is proud to recognize Professor Jacques Bertin for his outstanding contribution to the field of cartography by awarding him its highest honour, the Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal.

Category: General News

Honorary Fellowship for Jean-Philippe Grelot

Jean-Philippe Grelot has most recently served as ICA Secretary-General and Treasurer for the past eight years and previously served as ICA Vice President from 1987-1991. He served on the Education and Training and Population Commissions and has presented several papers at ICA conferences. He prepared for publication the volumes ‘ICA Organization and Activities,
1991-1995’and its 1995-1999 update both in paper and floppy form. In recognition of his many outstanding contributions to the ICA through his organizational work as Secretary General and Treasurer and his commission work, Jean-Philippe Grelot is awarded the ICA Honorary Fellowship.

Category: General News

Stéphane de Brommer (1905–1972)

Stéphane de Brommer

Stéphane de Brommer

Stéphane de Brommer was born in Paris on 23 February 1905. He attended grammar school in Bordeaux and was admitted to the famous Ecole Spéciale Militaire (Special Military School) of St-Cyr in 1925. He graduated in 1927 as an infantry officer and in 1931, upon his request, was transferred to the Service Géographique de l’Armée (Military Geographical Service), where he took part in topographical surveys in Provence and in Syria.

From the outset he demonstrated particular interest in reproduction and printing techniques and in 1933 he was appointed to the Cartographic Section of the Service Géographique. One year later he was put in charge of its Section of foreign relations. In 1940, when the Military Geographical Service was transformed into the civil Institut Géographique National (IGN), he was employed in the division of Geographic Engineers. For many years he directed with authority and competence the Reproduction and Printing Department of the Institute. In 1957 he was called to serve at Direction level, where he was responsible for dealing with problems related to cartography. In 1964 he was appointed Director of the Ecole Nationale des Sciences Géographiques of the IGN, a position that he held till his retirement in 1971.

Convinced of the good cause of mapping and its important function in modern society, he devoted much of his energy, enthusiasm and organisation talent to promoting national and international cooperation in cartography. He was one of the founder members of the International Cartographic Association, which he served as its Vice-President for eight years. As chairman of the Commission on Education (1964–1972) he succeeded in winning the financial support of UNESCO, which enabled him to do innovative work for the Association. The publications of the commission and its repeated presentations to plenary conference sessions considerably stimulated the growing awareness of the significance of a responsible education in cartography.

He was an indefatigable worker with great knowledge and experience in technical matters. As a good organiser, he managed to find time to attend courses on new developments in photography, reproduction and printing, adhering to the principle that it is necessary to have a full knowledge and understanding of the matter in question before one can delegate the work to others. Moreover, he was an excellent teacher. The students of the Ecole Nationale who were fortunate to have him as their guide, admired his teaching flare and appreciated the solid content of his lessons.

International relations played an important role in de Brommer’s life. He represented his country and the Association with style and tact. At the same time he was amiable and charming and with his fine sense of humour he was greatly liked. Participants of the UNESCO Seminars in the 1960’s have nostalgic memories of the social evenings organised by Madame and Stéphane de Brommer in their home in Avenue Emile Deschanel. Stéphane passed away on 15 December 1972, victim of a heart attack.

Category: General News