11 09, 2016

Map Year celebrations by the Geographical Society of Lisbon

By |September 11th, 2016|0 Comments

socgeografialisboa-logoThe Section of Mathematical Geography and Cartography of the Geographical Society of Lisbon has joined the Map Year celebrations by organizing a cycle of conferences aimed at both experts and the general public, thus contributing to the purposes of the Society, namely by disseminating geographic knowledge and its development. Each conference is followed by a summary and comments made by a member of the Section.

Upcoming events at the Adriano Moreira Auditorium:

  • 21 September, 5.30 p.m.: Geostatistics. Applications to hydrogeology by Luís Ribeiro, PhD, CERIS, Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture, and Georesources of the Technical Higher Education Institute of the University of Lisbon. Summary and comments: Rogério Ferreira de Almeida, Eng.
  • 28 October, 5.30 p.m.: Maps and nautical charts in the medieval and early modern ages: two of a kind or different cartographic paradigms? by Commander Joaquim Alves Gaspar, PhD, of the Interuniversity Centre for the History of Sciences and Technology, and Member of the Section of Mathematical Geography and Cartography. Summary and comments: Henrique Leitão, PhD
  • 7 November, 5.30 p.m.: Celebrating the International Map Year by Manuela Vasconcelos, Eng., Member of the Section of Mathematical Geography and Cartography. Summary and comments: Ana Fonseca, PhD
  • 28 November (to be confirmed), 5.30 p.m.: A Raia, La Raya: contribution of national cartography in the demarcation of the Portuguese-Spanish boundary (1855–1926) by Maria Helena Dias, PhD, University of Lisbon (retired). Summary and comments: João Cordeiro, Eng.

– José António Tenedório
President of the Portuguese IMY committee and
President of the Section of Mathematical Geography and Cartography of the Geographical Society of Lisbon

9 08, 2016

ICA posters a big success at the United Nations Headquarters in New York

By |August 9th, 2016|0 Comments


During the sixth session of the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM, 3–5 August 2016), the posters created by ICA’s Commissions on the Sustainable Development Goals were on exhibit in the conferences area in United Nations Headquarters in New York. During the opening session the participants were pointed to the exhibition of the ICA posters. During the first day of the conference the exhibition catalog was distributed to all participants. ICA’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals was well received.

We are happy to quote Mark Cygan from the International Map Industry Association (IMIA):

Congratulations to the ICA’s Commissions on your posters for the Sustainable Development Goals. It is difficult to capture in pictures, but they were prominently exhibited in the main hallway of the conference area in the United Nations Headquarters for all to see. Very high profile and crowning achievement for the International Map Year and ICA. The International Map Industry Association (IMIA) was pleased to endorse ICA on their resolution for the exhibition and the International Map Year. — Mark Cygan, IMIA

The posters as well as the catalog for the poster exhibition can be found on

5 08, 2016

IMY around the world

By |August 5th, 2016|0 Comments

It’s International Map Year (IMY)! Until now, 40 countries signed up for organizing IMY events and we are very happy to document their activities on our website. We also created a photo album of people showing off their IMY shirts at many wonderful locations world-wide. If you also would like to showcase your love for maps, send us your photo!

Click on the image to visit the map

Click on the image to visit the map

To show the world that you are celebrating maps in the International Map Year, send a photo of yourself with a map or our Map Year tshirt to . By sending it, you allow us to upload it to our Flickr album “IMY around the world”. Please include the coordinates, where the photo was shot 🙂

If you organized an IMY-related event in your country, please feel free to send us pictures and a short report to .

Thank you for your input <3

27 07, 2016

Code Loves Maps: Cartographically Oriented Programming Environments

By |July 27th, 2016|0 Comments

In the spirit of the International Map Year, a full day workshop at this years’ AGILE conference studied, discussed and sampled cartographically oriented programming environments.


Maps in digital age build on program code. This program code ranges from low level infrastructural code of operating systems to high level abstract code of applications, the latter of which is brought to users in visual cartographic form by compilers and interpreters in operating systems and web browsers. Since program code is a means to most powerful expression of ideas for user interfaces, innovative cartographic development requires cartographically oriented programming environments. Learning curves and ease of use in this kind of coding environments vary in large measure, which causes varied potential for cartographers to practice their discipline with these libraries.

To discuss these issues, the ICA Commission on Maps and the Internet invited to a workshop in Helsinki, Finland. 19 persons from European universities and research institutes interested in map programming attended the workshop. Presentations from various interesting viewpoints were seen about how map coding happens today and how it could happen more cartographically in the future. In the end of the day, a lively closing discussion was born on the theme and finally, a position paper brainstormed, so you may bump into cartographically oriented map programming also in future…

Programme and extended abstracts of the event can be found at

– Pyry Kettunen
Vice chair of the ICA Commission on Maps and the Internet

7 06, 2016

The Great Lines Project

By |June 7th, 2016|0 Comments

Did you ever wonder when contour lines were used for the first time? Karen Rann investigates the invention of contour lines in The Great Lines Project.

Contour lines. Photo by Karen Rann.

The website explores the first maps to include those tentative lines that expose a quality of our world needing to be understood, to be calculated or defined, through the use of a line or lines which are not visible within the landscape because they are not there.

Please also note Rann’s exhibition devoted to the development of contour lines, currently open at the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. More details about the exhibition can be found in our event calendar.

5 06, 2016

International Mail-Art Call

By |June 5th, 2016|0 Comments

To celebrate International Map Year, the Portuguese Committee of Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPT) invites artists of Mail-Art from around the world, to create inspired works on this topic.


Mail-Art is an art form that began in the last century in the “Correspondance Art School” of New York and had great expression in the 70s and 80s. Its vehicle transmission are postal services and, therefore, postcards, envelopes, stamps or postmarks are some of the media in which it is possible to express this art. The Mail-Art artists use techniques such as collages, photos, writing, painting or digital art. The only real limitation to the use of different techniques and media is the possibility of transmission of works by postal services.

Deadline for submission is March 21, 2017. All details on the Mail-Art call for the International Map Year can be found here.

Selected works will be exhibited on the MPT Facebook page.

Results from similar activities in the past can be reviewed here:


Submitted by Paulo Jorge Lourenço
Matemática do Planeta Terra

25 04, 2016

Call for Maps: Mars Exploration Zone Map Design Competition

By |April 25th, 2016|0 Comments

2035 marks the target date for the first human landing on Mars as planned by NASA. In 2015, 47 landing sites or Exploration Zones (EZ), each 200 km in diameter, have been proposed by the planetary science community. These should be mapped in high detail in the forthcoming years to enable proper comparison of the 47 sites and the selection of the 1 finalist. The ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography opened a Call for Maps for visualizing the best landing site.


This contest is open to students, young professional cartographers, and graphic artists in any country of the world.

The project is to select one candidate landing site and design an actual map that you envision will be useful in surface operations. We ask that you do not create simply a geologic map, but rather a product that can be used by the astronauts during their approximately one-year long mission within the Exploration Zone. This requires creativity, and it is also useful to have a good knowledge of surface features, surface hazards, science goals and the use of the proper cartographic tools.

The display and format of the maps entirely up to the participants. All submitted maps must be accompanied by a short paper (in the English language). Deadline for the submission of maps and papers is September 1, 2016.

Please find all details about the competition on the following website:

The contest is part of the International Map Year activities and organized by the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography

– Henrik I Hargitai
Chair of the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography

22 04, 2016

IMY at the conference of the Italian Geological Society

By |April 22nd, 2016|0 Comments


IMY Italy is organizing a Geological Map Day at the 88th Conference of the Italian Society of Geology in Naples in September 2016. The conference will feature a geological map exibition (with a selection of historical and modern geological maps on the same area) and a “geological map contest” for PhD and MSc students. In addition, there will be a session dedicated to the International Map Year.

The Call for Presentations & Posters for the session The International Map Year: new technologies, perspectives and outlook of geological mapping and outcrop visualization is still open:

The thorough understanding of geological processes combined with new Earth and planetary observation techniques, field-mapping and geoinformatics can provide invaluable insights into geologically complex areas such as Italy and the Mediterranean region. Methods of collection, storage and restitution of field work data dramatically changed in the last 30 years, as the new technologies give the geologists the opportunity to build models, by using and elaborating huge data sets. The new perspective of the geological investigation stimulates new efforts in collecting field data to be processed for modeling. This session encourages contributions that illustrate methods and processes for the elaboration and the construction of geological models, based on fieldwork, integrating the geological mapping, databases and up-to-date elaboration and visualization techniques. Studies based on the integration of field data with the results of distinct analytical techniques (remote sensing, laser scan, ecc.) are particularly welcomed.

The deadline for submission is May 15. All details about the session (P26) can be found here.

11 04, 2016

Next Barbara Petchenik Competition will be dedicated to the International Map Year

By |April 11th, 2016|0 Comments

Pan Sin Yi (15), Malaysia – The world in our hands

The world in our hands by Pan Sin Yi (15), Malaysia – Winner of the public vote in the 2015 competition

The Barbara Petchenik Competition is a biennial map drawing competition for children. We are happy to announce that the next competition will be dedicated to the International Map Year. By this reason, the theme of the upcoming competition will be “We love maps”. The Call for Participation will be opened in September and will also be available on this website.

Winning entries of the last competition can be viewed here.

General information on the Barbara Petchenik Competition can be found on the ICA website.

17 11, 2015

International Map Year Event at NACIS 2015 in Minneapolis, USA

By |November 17th, 2015|0 Comments

In celebration of International Map Year 2015–2016, the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) decided to open their annual meeting’s map gallery to the general public. The event included print and digital maps from students and professional members, a map art exhibit entitled The Tangible Maps Exhibit, and the United States and Canadian Children’s Maps from the 2015 Barbara Petchenik Children’s Mapping Competition.


We had a steady stream of visitors from Minneapolis, including several parents or grandparents who brought their children, and who heard an interview about the exhibit on Minnesota Public Radio (available here online) and thought it would be interesting to go and see some maps. As a result of the success of this experiment with opening the exhibition to the public, NACIS has decided to try to do this at future conferences, which are held in different cities in the US and Canada in early October each year.







We would like to thank the International Cartography Association’s Commission on Cartography and Children for making the USA and Canadian entries to the competition available for this exhibition.

– Amy L Griffin, NACIS president

15 11, 2015

It’s Geography Awareness Week: Explore! The Power of Maps

By |November 15th, 2015|0 Comments

Geography Awareness Week (GeoWeek) is a geographic literacy initiative celebrated every third week of November and sponsored by the National Geographic Society. This year’s theme is Explore! The Power of Maps. From the invitation:

Celebrate and explore the power of maps November 15–21, 2015. Spatial thinking through maps is one of the most important skills that students can develop as they learn geography, Earth and environmental sciences, and so much more. –

The National Geographic website offers lots of tools and resources to celebrate Geography Awareness Week and to organize related events. An interesting read is also their article on 100 Years of National Geographic Maps: The Art and Science of Where.

Geography Aweareness Week


GIS Day was incorporated into GeoWeek in 1999 to highlight the potential of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to improve the population’s geo-literacy. It takes place every Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week – this year on Wednesday, November 18. It’s supported by the GIS company Esri and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). More information and a list of all events organized world-wide can be found on

National Map Day in the US

Scheduled within Geography Awareness Week, the US national Map Year committee organizes a National Map Day on Monday, November 16 with invitations to users from different fields such as agriculture, forestry, physical planning, housing, and natural resources. The main theme for this day will be discussions of the educational value of maps in helping to teach students and adults about their cultural and physical environments.

2 10, 2015

FixWikiMaps: Help improving maps during IMY

By |October 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

FixWikiMaps projectWikipedia has become a great resource for people to learn about anything and everything, and its constant up-to-date database has become a reliable source for many individuals throughout the world. While the text is constantly getting updated and corrected, the maps and graphics leave something to be desired. The FixWikiMaps Project is here to fix that.

FixWikiMaps is a project started with the goal to update, correct, and beautify all the maps and visualizations throughout Wikipedia. In order to do this, FixWikiMaps teamed up with the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) to have the first ever MapLift, a week long event to find maps on Wikipedia and complete the FixWikiMaps mission. The event occurred from August 28th through September 4th, had over 180 signups, and the results were fantastic.

Louisiana Purchase – this map was updated and beautified by MapLift

Louisiana Purchase – this map was updated and beautified by MapLift

Louisiana Purchase map before the update

Louisiana Purchase map before the update

MapLift added over 132 new maps to the FixWikiMaps website and database, taking the total number available for lifting from 90 to 224. Of those 224 maps, 72 of them were completed and uploaded to Wikipedia. Some saw drastic updates while others need minor tweaks in labeling, color, or data in order to more closely follow the map guidelines of Wikipedia. Along with the online MapLift event, there were also in person events held around the US as well, including 4 Maptime chapters devoting their monthly meetings to MapLift.

Map of Lake Turkana – this map was newly created within the MapLift project

Map of Lake Turkana – this map was newly created within the MapLift project

MapLift also brought positives to FixWikiMaps and NACIS. FixWikiMaps created a new website ( with more functionality and is still constantly expanding. As well as the new website for FixWikiMaps, both NACIS and FixWikiMaps received some great publicity on Twitter. Both accounts received a huge influx of followers and was a featured topic on the #geowebchat of September.

If you’d like to contribute to the FixWikiMaps Project, head over to to see what maps are available and claim one. Be sure to also check out NACIS and their annual conference coming up this October 13th–October 17th in Minneapolis. It’s not too late to still sign up!

Guest author: Brian Davidson

11 03, 2015

IMY on the cover of German cartography journal

By |March 11th, 2015|0 Comments

dgfk_KN_01_2015The German Cartographic Society (DGfK) celebrates the International Map Year on the cover of Kartographische Nachrichten, the only cartographic periodical in German.

Also, the DGfK initiative Die bemerkenswerte Karte (The remarkable map) publishes an article series dedicated to the International Map Year. It’s a highly recommendable read (at least for everyone who understands German).

Earlier this year, DGfK also organized a New Year’s reception for starting in the International Map Year – including a short presentation by ICA president Georg Gartner.

Further IMY-related activities by the DGfK can be found on the DGfK website.

11 03, 2015

The International Map Industry Association endorses the International Map Year

By |March 11th, 2015|5 Comments

IMIA logoThe International Map Industry Association (IMIA) endorses the International Map Year 2015–2016 as a valuable means to promote the importance of maps and Geoinformation. IMIA is a global organization that represents the world of maps.

IMIA will promote the International Map Year as part of their events

IMIA Americas Region Conference ‘International Map Year’
September 27–29, 2015
Washington, D.C. USA

IMIA Asia Pacific Region Conference ‘International Map Year’
November 15–17, 2015
Brisbane, Australia

More information on the IMIA website

11 03, 2015

FIG Working Week 2015

By |March 11th, 2015|0 Comments


The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) organizes the FIG Working Week from 17–21 May 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The conference will include an ICA session and a Cartographic Exhibition of Wall Maps – held in celebration of the International Map Year. The organizers state:

The cartographic exhibition of wall maps is organized by Bulgarian Cartographic Association with the support of International Cartographic Association. It will be held during FIG Working week and will accompany the ICA session in FIG Working Week, May 2015. Countries with the interest to the proposed event will be invited. Bulgarian and international companies will take participation with their newest products. The best maps will be awarded by FIG and ICA presidents. –

For more information, please contact Prof. , President of Bulgarian Cartographic Association