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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 #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: Season’s Greetings

Dear colleagues and ICA friends,

2017 has been again a successful year for cartography. We had a wonderful 28th International Cartographic Conference in Washington DC (USA). Most Commissions and Working Groups organized many smaller events in conjunction with our main conference. During the conference, we also formally closed the International Map Year, which initiated local events on a global scale. It is obvious that cartography is very much alive!

This is also the moment to thank all of you who have been active for ICA in 2017. All your activities are very much appreciated, especially if we realize that we all do this as volunteers.

2018 promises to be yet another interesting year for ICA. Many (joint) commission activities have already been planned. 2018 will also be the year of our collaborative effort to realize the follow up of our 2016 cartographic poster exhibition on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at the UN headquarter in New York. This will be our book ‘Mapping for sustainability’ which will offer guidelines and best practices for mapping the UN SDG indicators. The book will allow ICA to transfer knowledge and expertise, and organize various training related activities.

With all these plans ahead of us, I would like to wish you all a prosperous and ‘mapable’ 2018.

– Menno-Jan Kraak
President of the International Cartographic Association

 

The ICA Executive Committee wishes Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year!

President’s Blog: Season’s Greetings

Dear cartographers,

2016 has been an exciting year, the International Map Year. All over the world we have seen special events being organized related to maps. I would like to thank everyone of you who has contributed and made the International Map Year a success. For ICA, the poster exhibition at the United Nations headquarters has been one of the highlights, especially since the nineteen posters are the result of a concerted effort of all our commissions and working groups.

I’m convinced the spirit of the International Map year will not get lost when 2017 starts. Actually, that seems impossible because the next big event is in full preparation: our 28th International Cartographic Conference in Washington, D.C., USA, next July. The local organizers are working hard to make it a success. You have contributed over seven hundred submissions which are currently under review, promising an interesting and high quality program.

Via this blog post I would like to bring you the Executive Committee’s season’s greetings and wish you a Mappy 2017.

– Menno-Jan Kraak
President of the International Cartographic Association

 

The ICA Executive Committee wishes Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year!

President’s Blog: Seasons greetings

ICA Executive Committee Meeting, Vienna, 9 November 2015: Lynn Usery, Georg Gartner, David Forrest, Monika Sester, Menno-Jan Kraak, Sara Fabrikant, László Zentai, Yaolin Liu and Vít Voženílek. Missing: Pilar Sánchez-Ortiz Rodríguez

The ICA Executive Committee wishes Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year!

Dear colleagues and ICA friends,

2015 has been an exiting year for cartography. We have experienced a most successful 27th International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Besides, throughout the year Commissions and Working Groups have organized many smaller events in conjunction with national members or sister organizations. 2015 was also the start of the International Map Year. Many small and big local events were organized to celebrate the map. It is obvious that cartography is very much alive!

During the Rio event ICA’s 16th General Assembly took place, and a new leadership has been elected. We now have 27 Commission and Working Groups with people in charge who eagerly started their new ‘jobs’. This also includes the new Executive Committee.

This is also the moment to thank all of you who have been active for ICA over the last four years, especially if we realize that we all do this as volunteers.

2016 activities will focus on the International Map Year. The cartographic exhibition at the UN-GGIM meeting in New York should be one of the highlights where ICA will present its cartographic perspective on the seventeen new sustainability goals true a collaborative effort of all Commissions and Working Groups.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a prosperous and ‘mapable’ 2016.

Menno-Jan Kraak
– President of the International Cartographic Association

Season’s Greetings

ica_ec_greetings2014

Dear colleagues and friends of ICA,

The year 2014 was in many ways a most successful year for cartography and the International Cartographic Association: ICA has been accepted as full union member of the International Council of Science (ICSU), has prepared the launch of its own journal called “The International Journal of Cartography”, has been endorsed by the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) to run the International Map Year 2015/16, has successfully organized numerous activities of ICA Commissions including workshops, symposia, meetings, discussions and publications.

Cartography is facing fast, challenging and demanding developments. All of us within the ICA are feeling the increasing interest, activities and awareness of the core relevance of cartography. In the realm of big data and innovative technologies, the efficient communication of spatial information is getting more and more in the focus, adding to the keywords of competences needed to succeed in this arena not only data crunching and technology-savviness but also design skills.

Therefore I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of the many commission chairs, commission members, committee members, participants at ICA events, correspondents, cartographers and GIScientists or simply friends of ICA, who have contributed to the development of our attractive, modern and relevant discipline!

With this, I would like to express my sincere season’s greetings and wish all of us a successful and interesting “cartographic” year 2015!

– Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog: Season’s Greetings

Dear collegue and friend of ICA,

The year 2013 was in many ways a most successful year for cartography and the International Cartographic Association.

We are witnessing an enormous popularity of maps. Today maps can be created and used by anyone with just modest computing skills from virtually any location on Earth and for almost any purpose. Cartographic data may be digitally and wirelessly delivered in finalized form to the device in the hands of the users or they may derive the requested visualization from downloaded data in situ. Real-time data handling and visualization are other significant developments as well as location-based services and mobile cartography. We see a significant interest of big companies to participate in these developments as well as an ever growing number of map users.

We are witnessing growing awareness for the relevance of communicating spatial data efficiently through maps. Maps and cartography play a key role for our society, economy and decision making processes and this becomes more and more understood by governments, authorities, companies and the society, thus driving developments such as Spatial Data Infrastructures and Service-oriented Cartography. It was interesting to see, that the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) is confirming this statement exactly, because maps are most efficient in enabling human users to understand complex situations. Maps can be understood as tools to order information by their spatial context. Maps can be seen as the perfect interface between a human user and all those big data and thus enable human users to answer location-related questions, to support spatial behavior, to enable spatial problem solving or simply to be able to become aware of space.

Cartography is facing fast, challenging and demanding developments. But on the other hand it’s highly rewarding to contribute to cartographic research, developments, applications or products. Such contributions have been done under the umbrella of the many, many activities of the International Cartographic Association in 2013, with the International Cartographic Conference in Dresden as highlight!

Therefore I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of the many commission chairs, commission members, committee members, participants at ICA events, correspondents, cartographers and GIScientists or simply friends of ICA which have contributed to the further development of our most attractive, modern and relevant discipline!

With this I would like to express my sincere season’s greetings and wish all of us a most successful, interesting “cartographic” year 2014!

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

President’s Blog: Season’s Greetings

Dear Friends of the International Cartographic Association,

The year 2012 was in many ways a successful year for cartography and the ICA. I want to thank you for your efforts and interest you have taken in the ICA. The Executive Committee is looking forward to working with you in the upcoming year and wishes to express their best season’s greetings.

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association

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