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

President’s Blog: New Working group – Cartographic Body of Knowledge (CartoBoK)

Education and Research go hand in hand. Research is necessary to make sure our discipline remains relevant. Education disseminates this new knowledge and trains future generations. Each domain has common or basic knowledge, sometimes typified as a domain’s Body of Knowledge. Wikipedia says: “A body of knowledge (BOK or BoK) is the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional domain, as defined by the relevant learned society or professional association”.

In this context ICA sees it as its duty to help educators by defining such BoK for cartography. To do so the Executive Committee has decided to establish a new working group Cartographic Body of Knowledge (CartoBoK), to be chaired by vice-president Lynn Usery, supported by past President Georg Gartner. Both are in the process to add a few more members. The working group will report in Tokyo.

Based on the terms of reference the working group will start with an inventory of existing Bodies of Knowledge (BoKs) from UCGIS, AGILE, NGA/USGS, ACM, and others that have cartographic elements and extract those parts relevant to CartoBoK. The next step will include top down / bottom up process to define an initial set of topics to capture cartographic knowledge and concepts for the CartoBoK. This will be followed by a process to solicit, review, and publish individual contributions to the CartoBoK and to develop a procedure for update and refinement of CartoBoK, beyond the initial delivery so that it becomes a dynamic, living document changing as the discipline of cartography changes. A close link with the ICA research agenda will be maintained. On our website a dedicated page for the working group will be created to keep all of us informed.

– Menno-Jan Kraak
President of the International Cartographic Association

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