News by participating countries

/News by participating countries
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

4 07, 2016

IMY at Geological Survey of Brazil

By |July 4th, 2016|0 Comments

On 21 June, the Division of Cartography of Geological Survey of Brazil was invited to make an exhibition of their activities for the whole company. They used this occassion to promote the value of cartography within the field of geology. They also highlighted the occassion of the International Map Year.


Cartographers exhibited photos, posters, old work tools and digital screens related to field job, maps, studies, and other work done in the Division of Cartography.




– Submitted by Flavia Renata Ferreira,
Cartographic Engineer at Geological Survey of Brazil, CPRM 

19 06, 2016

IMY activities in Mexico

By |June 19th, 2016|1 Comment

The Mexican team participating in the International Map Year at CentroGeo has been very active in organizing IMY-related events. We are very happy to share some of their activities.

Mexican students visiting CentroGeo


As part of the activities for the International Map Year, 30 Urban Management and Promotion students from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México visited CentroGeo in November.

Researchers from CentroGeo gave small lectures about the production and use of maps in this research center, and the ways different kinds of maps can be used in their work as urban scholars, after which they participated in a “map workshop”. It was a day of sharing mapping experiences, with special thanks to the researchers Elvia Martínez, Rodrigo Tapia, Jorge Montejano and Pablo López, for their collaboration and support.

For the International Cartographic Association, goals for the International Map Year include making maps more visible both to citizens and school children alike in a global context, showing how information technology can be used to obtain geographic information and to produce one’s own maps, and to increase the recruitment of students to cartography and cartography-related disciplines; this visit to CentroGeo helped to achieve these goals.



Conference about Maps in Geopolitics

el-mapa-en-geopoliticaThe conference “The Map in Geopolitics” was organized by CentroGeo within the International Map Year. Maps are conceptualized as portrayals in two ways: as drawings, “geo-graphings”, and as a staging, a narrative of territory. In this sense, every map has a direct and indirect political purpose. From this fact, maps have a huge democratizing potential. Therefore, maps in Geopolitics have a pedagogic function too. From this perspective, one goal of maps is to encourage the appropriation of territory by its citizens, helping them to understand the territorial dynamics that concern them. Methodologically, maps are the main tool for geopolitics space and time reasoning. This is based on the diatopic analysis (from Greek topos, place and dia, through) and on the diacronic analysis (from Greek cronos, time and dia, through). From the study of time-space dynamics and territorial representations, the evolution of power relationships between stakeholders and the conflicts they generate, geopolitic analysis through maps allows to visualize, identify, and explain strategic territories according to the study object. All of this with the goal on one side to determine relevant territories for field work, and on the other, to generate graphic supplies to set conflict and resolution scenarios.



Interview about IMY and the role of maps in our daily lives

The events around the International Map Year at CentroGeo attracted interest of the news agency of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT). They asked for an interview about the International Map Year and the role that maps play in our daily lives nowadays. The article (in Spanish) can be found at

Further plans…

This summer the Mexican IMY committee will offer a mapping workshop for kids.

For further news and activities from IMY Mexico, make sure to follow them via Instagram (imy_mx) and Facebook (Año Internacional del Mapa 2015).

7 06, 2016

A new national map for Switzerland

By |June 7th, 2016|0 Comments

The new 1:10,000 scale national map is a milestone in the history of Swiss cartography and the highlight of swisstopo’s involvement in the International Map Year supported by UNO. For the very first time, a new map of the whole of Switzerland is to be created fully automatically each year and published with the most up-to-date data available from swisstopo’s topographical landscape model.

A click on the map will lead you directly to the new 1:10’000 map on

Based on the topographical landscape model, the map, which will be updated yearly by region and published all over Switzerland, will integrate seamlessly with the existing national map.

What began two centuries ago with copperplate engraving is now done on computer. With this development, swisstopo gives due consideration to the growing importance of geoinformation for a changing society.

The new 1:10,000 scale national map is integrated at the highest zoom levels on the Federal geodata portal as of now. As a result, the map can also be incorporated into any website or printed up to A3 format.

More details on the new 1:10’000 national map can be found on

– Urs Isenegger, swisstopo

7 06, 2016

IMY activities with school children in Hungary

By |June 7th, 2016|0 Comments

On June 1, students of the Benedictine Secondary School of Győr (Hungarian city) visited the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, the Visualization Center, the GPS station and the Museum of Mineralogy at Eötvös Loránd University within the activities programmed to celebrate the International Map Year in Hungary. The visit counted with the support not only of colleagues of our department, but was also supported by the GDi Esri Hungary Company.





– Reyes Nunez José Jesús, Hungary

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.

9 05, 2016

Conference of the Italian Cartographic Association in occasion of the International Map Year

By |May 9th, 2016|0 Comments

logo_aicAmong the events planned in occasion of the International Map Year 2016, the Italian Cartographic Association (AIC) together with the University of Camerino is organizing the AIC yearly conference 2016 on “Cartography, Promotion of Places, Smart Cities” in San Benedetto del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno) on 11–13 May 2016. As usual in Italian Cartographic Association’s events, participants will be university professors, scholars, professionals and students from around Italy. Apart from the scientific sessions, there will be an Interactive Cartographic Exhibition from 7–12 May 2016, which will be open to the public and will see participation of students of primary and secondary schools of the provinces of Teramo, Ascoli Piceno and Fermo.

– Giuseppe Borruso
President of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Cartographic Assiciation (AIC)


29 04, 2016

The Bulgarian Cartographic Association meets two Committees in the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria

By |April 29th, 2016|0 Comments

The Economic Policy and Tourism Committee chaired by Mr. Petar Kanev and the Culture and Media Committee, chaired by Ms. Polina Karastoyanova of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria hosted a meeting with Bulgarian Cartographic Association (BCA). The meeting is the highlight of a series of events that Bulgaria organized on the occasion of the International Map Year 2015–2016.


The main topic of the meeting was the use of geospatial information in the economic and cultural development of the country. Bulgarian Cartographic Association was presented by leading Bulgarian scientists and experts who opened the discussion on six main issues and achieved agreement on several action streams.

Both Parliamentary Committees supported the idea of organizing cartographic exhibition in the National Assembly building on the occasion of the International Map Year Map Day. The exhibition will present the achievements of the Bulgarian cartography and its place at international level. It will also outline the cartography as an important pillar in the human knowledge.

Both Parliamentary Committees accepted the invitation to participate in the 6th International Conference on Cartography and GIS (ICC & GIS) that will take place in Bulgaria in June 2016. As the Conference is organized every two years, the Committees committed to facilitate the inclusion of the next event of the series in the calendar of Bulgarian EU Presidency in 2018.

The establishment of a National Committee for coordination of the GEO’s (Group of Earth Observations) objectives and implementation of the strategic plan to build a global system for Earth observation (Global Earth Observation System of Systems, GEOSS) was fully supported by the Parliamentary Committees. The idea was also embraced by scientists, experts and MPs who attended the meeting. The participants were also convinced in the need for amendments to the Law of geodesy and cartography which goal would be to improve the quality and the competitiveness of the Bulgarian cartographic products.

BCA proposed the establishment of a national fund “Bulgarian cartographic heritage”. The Committees fully supported the idea and the regulation of the fund as part of the cultural heritage of the country. With this regard, a BCA representative will be consulting the Parliamentary Committee on local names during the process development of knowledge base with geospatial information.

At the end of the meeting, BCA donated maps and atlases to the National Assembly Library. This is the second time BCA donates cartographic products to the community. The first donation was made to the Library of the United Nations in New York.

– Temenoujka Bandrova
President of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association

26 04, 2016

Japan opened a time capsule of maps buried in 1980

By |April 26th, 2016|0 Comments

Japan Cartographers Association (JCA) held a workshop on April 23rd, 2016 for inspecting maps exhibited at the International Cartographic Conference (ICC) 1980 in Tokyo with the cooperation of Center for Spatial Information Science (CSIS) of the University of Tokyo.


This event took place on the occasion of the donation of the maps stored in the office of JCA to Kashiwa Library at the University of Tokyo. After four presenters gave comments on the features of the maps and experiences at the ICC 1980, more than 30 participants inspected the original old maps and discussed the effective use of the legacy of the ICC 1980. This workshop can be a good opportunity to examine 40 years’ changes of cartography, heading towards the success of ICC 2019 in Tokyo.


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.

18 04, 2016

Bulgarian postcard for IMY

By |April 18th, 2016|0 Comments

Stamping the Bulgarian IMY postcard

On 14 April 2016, at the Museum of Communications in Sofia, Bulgaria pictorial postcard entitled “International Map Year 2015–2016” was put into use. The card was officially validated by placing the first postage stamp by Deputy Minister of Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications Mr. Valery Borisov, President of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association Prof. Temenujka Bandrova and artist of the post card Mr. Georgi Pavlov.

Bulgarian Cartographic Association initiated an event with the invitations to its members, guests and philatelists who had the opportunity to acquire the unique post edition – the first of its kind in the world dedicated to the International Map Year 2015–2016.

Prof. Temenoujka Bandrova,
President of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association



Official validation of the IMY postcard by Temenujka Bandrova, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications Mr. Valery Borisov and artist of the post card Mr. Georgi Pavlov.


11 04, 2016

IMY activities with pre-school kids in the United Arab Emirates

By |April 11th, 2016|0 Comments


On 15 November 2015, a group of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) students under supervision of Dr.  Naeema Alhosani, national IMY coordinator of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), visited “Al Qadeer” kindergarten in Al Ain city, to raise awareness among the kids about International Map Year. The visiting program included many activities:

  • playing UAE map puzzles
  • plaing flash card “maps images and words”
  • coloring a map coloring book
  • stamping their thumb on a cloth, which has “We love maps” written on it.

Finally, the whole classes of kindergarten kids were asked to take a paper that had “We love maps” written on it, then they were rewarded with a small gift.

More information and images of the lovely activities Dr. Naeema Al Hosani and her team are organizing in the United Arab Emirates can be found on Thank you for your hard work!

25 03, 2016

Japan joins the Map Year celebrations

By |March 25th, 2016|0 Comments

Japan set up a national committee for organizing events to celebrate the International Map Year. The first event already took place at the Annual Conference of JCA (Japan Cartographers Association) on August 6, 2015. The second event took place at the General Assembly of JCA on February 27, 2016. JCA also produced buttons to celebrate IMY.

IMY buttons produced by JCA

IMY buttons produced by JCA

Group photo from Annual Conference of JCA, August 2015

Group photo from Annual Conference of JCA, August 2015

Group photo from General Assembly of JCA, February 2016

Group photo from General Assembly of JCA, February 2016

More information about the IMY celebrations in Japan can be found on

– Yoshiki Wakabayashi

19 02, 2016

IMY activities in Turkey

By |February 19th, 2016|0 Comments

IMY in Turkey is coordinated by Necla Ulugtekin and her team A. Ozgur Dogru and Merve Keskin. The following activities were organized in 2015.

IMY Turkey team: A. Ozgur DOGRU, Merve KESKIN and N. Necla ULUGTEKIN

IMY Turkey team: A. Ozgur DOGRU, Merve KESKIN and N. Necla ULUGTEKIN

Within GIS Day, the Chamber of Survey and Cadastre Engineers and Spatial Informatics Initiative of Turkey collaborated to organize GIS Day on 16. December 2015. During the symposium, spatial information, spatial intelligence, intelligent flight maps, smart cities and GIS interactions were discussed. International Map Year was announced and the its logo was used in the symposium’s poster.

Group photo from the GIS Day symposium in December 2016

Group photo from the GIS Day symposium in December 2016

Besides GIS Day symposium, XYZ journal published an article about the goals of the International Map Year in November 2015. XYZ is a monthly publised journal focused on national and sectoral engineering issues.

Article about IMY in XYZ dergi

Article about IMY in XYZ dergi

We also developed the following Turkish version of the IMY logo:


By the way: FIG Congress 2018 will take place in Turkey! See you in Istanbul…



26 01, 2016

A stamp for International Map Year

By |January 26th, 2016|0 Comments

The Swiss Cartographic Society engages in many special activities during International Map Year, such as publications, exhibitions, events or cartography awards. To better promote IMY and its ideas amongst members and the general public, the society also produced promotional materials. One of the latest ideas is a special webstamp designed for IMY. It is being used on mail by the society and will for sure raise attention by the recipients when they look at the envelope!

Swiss webstamp created for the International Map Year

Swiss webstamp created for the International Map Year

– Thomas Schulz, Switzerland

20 01, 2016

Map Year celebrations in Slovenia

By |January 20th, 2016|0 Comments

We are happy to announce that Slovenia joined the IMY celebrations! Dušan Petrovič reports about past events and activities planned for 2016.

Dušan Petrovič announces IMY in Slovenia

Dušan Petrovič announces IMY in Slovenia

IMY in Slovenia officially started on October 18, 2015, when the International Map Year was announced at the academy of the 25th Anniversary of the Slovenian Orienteering Federation. The event took place in the old cinema in the town of Idria, one of the roots of orienteering in Slovenia, also known as a mine city with one of the world’s largest former mercury mines. The event was well received: It attracted orienteering runners from all generations and sister organizations (alpine club, boy scouts, etc.) and also hosted the president of the National Olympic Committee as well as the major of Idria.

Introducing IMY was one of the highlights of the event. It included the award ceremony for 8-year-old Andraž. His picture “The whole world is on the same boat” won the 1st prize in the category 6–8 years in the international round of the Barbara Petchenik Competition 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Andraž receiving the award for his 1st prize in the international round of the Barbara Petchenik competition. His winning picture "The whole world is on the same boat" can be seen on the right.

Andraž receiving the award for his 1st prize in the international round of the Barbara Petchenik competition. His winning picture “The whole world is on the same boat” can be seen on the right.

Maps – mostly orienteering maps – were also incorporated in other parts of the celebration. The event concluded in a nearby gallery, where an exhibition on historical and nowadays orienteering maps was prepared. The exhibition remained open for another week.

The main event celebrating IMY in Slovenia is going to be 44th Slovenian Surveying Day in March 2016. The Slovenian Surveying Day event is organised yearly, in the last years together with the Day of the European Surveyor and Geoinformation. The main organizer is the Association of Surveyors of Slovenia, the event attracts a wide scope of stakeholders in the field of surveying, state administrations, local communities, companies, etc. In 2016 the title of the Slovenian Surveying Day will be “Maps for efficient decision-making”, which will focus on the relevance of maps in all processes of planning, administrating and using the territory. We are proud to be hosting ICA president, Prof. Dr. Menno-Jan Kraak.

– Dušan Petrovič, Slovenian IMY coordinator

20 01, 2016

IMY celebrations are appreciated everywhere

By |January 20th, 2016|0 Comments

In addition to thematic seminars and expert meetings, it is important to promote maps to the general public, therefore, many activities are focused on different target groups or local events. An example of such an event is the exhibition at a local elementary school in Bystročice (small village, less than 1000 inhabitants) near Olomouc in the Czech Republic organized by the Department of Geoinformatics, Faculty of Science, Palacký University Olomouc (Czech Republic), which is a leading promoter of the International Map Year in the Czech Republic. Local citizens and school pupils had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the development of regional maps. The first appearance of Bystročice village in a map is dating back to 1716 and there were presented samples of dozens old maps. The exhibition was implemented via posters with IMY logo.






The great interest of visitors of the exhibition proves that IMY celebrations are appreciated everywhere!

Guest author: Alena Vondráková

21 12, 2015

Unfolding the map: Map exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand

By |December 21st, 2015|0 Comments


Unfolding the Map is a celebration of New Zealand cartography. It starts with the oral cartographies of early Polynesian navigators and pre-European Maori (Polynesian navigators were criss-crossing the Pacific a couple of hundred years before Columbus ventured west across the Atlantic). It includes early print maps from the 17th and 18th centuries and traces the print cartography of New Zealand through to the present day. New Zealand is, as you are probably aware, one of the most recently settled countries on earth. The historic and contemporary print maps on display are drawn mostly from Archives New Zealand and the library’s Alexander Turnbull Collection. They fall into one of five categories:

  • Coastal charting
  • Surveying and the Cadastre
  • Resources and Environment
  • Topographic Mapping
  • Recreation and Tourism

There is a section of the exhibition devoted to the art and science of cartography and the cartographic process. This also looks at how technology has periodically revolutionised map-making and given rise to or changed the face of other geographical information sciences like geodesy and remote sensing.

Digital cartography is also explored using a mix of projected dynamic map content, video, and ipads with access to interactive storymaps and selected webmapping applications. A separate area is devoted to telling the stories behind some of New Zealand’s more evocative place names. And lastly there is a giant floor map of New Zealand, and an interactive world map for children.

The exhibition started in October 2015 and continues to August 2016, which coincides with the International Map Year. It has been curated by Roger Smith from the Wellington-based cartographic design company Geographx.

There is a parallel programme of public events including a lecture series focusing on map-related topics. There is also an educational outreach programme targeted at New Zealand schools.

Please find all details at


geological sketch map

Image of a geological sketch map compiled by James Hector, Director of the NZ Geological Survey in 1873. This map was prepared specially for the International Vienna Exhibition in 1873. The cartography is by Augustus Koch.

The Tuki map

The Tuki map – this is the earliest known drawn map by Maori. Tuki was the son of a tohunga, or priest, one of two young Māori kidnapped in 1793 off the Cavalli Islands and taken to Norfolk Island to teach convicts how to dress flax. The map was drawn in 1793 for the lieutenant-governor of Norfolk Island, Philip King.

27 11, 2015

IMY celebrations at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

By |November 27th, 2015|0 Comments

NASFaculty_IMY2015-2016The University of Pretoria (UP) celebrated the International Map Year this year in three ways: the Centre for Geo-information Science (CGIS) Map Competition; a map assignment challenge for first-year and third-year students in BSc Geo-informatics and most importantly, the 2015 CGIS Mini-conference.

The 2015 CGIS Mini-conference: Maps in research at UP aimed to showcase the role of maps in research conducted at UP. Postgraduate supervisors from across the University were invited to nominate students under their supervision for a presentation at the mini-conference. We asked for presentations with ‘map’ or ‘mapping’ in the title and abstracts describing the role of maps in the research.

A variety of presentations showcases the use of maps in research at UP. Maps are used in research in multiple disciplines. The following examples can be cited: the use of maps in different departments and faculties; maps are used in inter-disciplinary research, such as in cartography and psychology which are combined in research that makes use of eye tracking to study how people read and understand maps. Maps are also used in multi-disciplinary research, where, for example we draw on cartography and geography/plant science in research that aims to spatially analyse / understand natural and human-made phenomena around us.

The presentations included ‘traditional’ uses of mapping and spatial analysis …

  • to help us understand our natural environment
  • to help us plan for urbanisation;
  • and to help us plan for much needed renewable energies.

There were also presentations on novel high-tech applications of cartography, such as augmented reality and 3D eye tracking. Finally, the keynote address on forensic mapping is a less frequently heard of application of mapping.

All the presenters were UP students who are supervised in more than one faculty and in various departments. In some cases co-supervisors were from other universities or research councils. At the end of the mini-conference, the winners of the 2015 UP CGIS Map Competition received their prize money and a map atlas donated by Esri.

2015 CGIS Mini-Conference: Maps in Research at UP, 6 November 2015

2015 CGIS Mini-Conference: Maps in Research at UP, 6 November 2015

We are also celebrating International Map Year 2015/6 with an exhibition of maps in the UP library. The exhibition showcases maps produced by students, staff and other organisations. Some interesting map books from the library are on display, such as a population map from 1904. During November the library expects anything between 4,600 to 7,400 visitors daily.

CGIS Map Exhibition: UP Student Competition Maps & Other South African Companies, Merensky II, 2–23 November 2015, Hatfield Campus

CGIS Map Exhibition: UP Student Competition Maps & Other South African Companies, 2–23 November 2015

– Serena Coetzee