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About ICA

The International Cartographic Association is the world authoritative body for cartography.  Its mission is to promote the discipline and profession of cartography in an international context.

The ICA exists to:

  • contribute to the understanding and solution of world-wide problems through the use of cartography in decision-making processes
  • foster the international dissemination of environmental, economic, social and spatial information through mapping
  • provide a global forum for discussion of the role and status of cartography
  • facilitate the transfer of new cartographic technology and knowledge between nations, especially to developing nations
  • carry out or to promote multi-national cartographic research in order to solve scientific and applied problems
  • enhance cartographic education in the broadest sense through publications, seminars, and conferences
  • promote the use of professional and technical standards in cartography

The ICA works with government and commercial bodies, both national and international, and with other international scientific societies to achieve these aims.

New Zealand's involvement with the ICA began in 1976 when, at the 5th General Assembly in Moscow, the country was first elected as a full member nation. Professor R.G. Lister from the University of Otago acted as the NZ representative to the conference while also attending the International Geographical Union meeting.  In recent years, New Zealand has maintained its member nation status and actively participates in ICA General Assemblies and conferences.

The current New Zealand representative to the ICA is NZCS President Igor Drecki.



History of ICA

The International Cartographic Association was established by 13 founding member nations in Bern, Switzerland in 1959.  The inaugural meeting took place in June at Wabern (near Bern) with Austria, Belgium, France, West Germany, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States attending.  The decision was made at this meeting to formally establish the Association, and delegated two official languages: English and French.  By 1991 the ICA had grown to 62 member nations, with a further significant increase in recent years to over 80 countries and 12 affiliates.

The purpose of the ICA was to generate international cooperation in the field of cartography, and also to affiliate with the International Geographical Union while retaining a level of autonomy.  The Association initially appointed a provisional Executive Committee from representatives of seven member nations.  The mandate of this committee was to organise the first General Assembly of Delegates in Paris in 1961.

The first General Assembly was attended by 84 delegates from 29 countries. This meeting had an extensive social programme and was probably the most glamorous conference the ICA has ever held.  It included dinner at the Eiffel Tower, a cruise on the River Seine, a night visit to the Louvre Museum, and a visit to a fashion parade at Christian Dior.  As part of the business programme, delegates adopted the official Statues of the Organisation, thereby formally creating the ICA. There were 26 inaugural member nations.

The ICA has been officially registered as an idealistic non-profit organisation in the Swedish national organisation register since January 20, 2000 (# 885002-1018).

 



Presidents of ICA

2011 - present Georg Gartner (Austria)
2007- 2011 William Cartwright (Australia)
2003 - 2007 Milan Konecny (Czech Republic)
1999 - 2003 Bengt Rystedt (Sweden)
1995 - 1999 Michael Wood (UK) 
1987 - 1995 DR Fraser Taylor (Canada)
1984 - 1987 Joel L Morrison (USA)
1976 - 1984 Ferdinand J Ormeling (Netherlands)
1972 - 1976 Arthur H Robinson (USA)
1968 - 1972 Konstantin A Salichtchev (USSR)
1964 - 1968 Dennis EO Thackwell (UK)
1961 - 1964 Eduard Imhof (Switzerland)

 



ICA Conferences 1959 - 2015

  • 27 - Rio de Janiero, Brazil (23 - 28 August, 2015) - upcoming
  • 26 - Dresden, Germany (26 - 30 August, 2013)
  • 25 - Paris, France (4 - 9 July, 2011)
  • 24 - Santiago, Chile (15 - 21 November, 2009)
  • 23 - Moscow, Russia (4 - 10 August, 2007)
  • 22 - A Coruña, Spain (9 - 16 July, 2005)
  • 21 - Durban, South Africa (10 - 16 August, 2003)
  • 20 - Beijing, China (6 - 10 August, 2001)
  • 19 - Ottawa, Canada (14 - 21 August, 1999)
  • 18 - Stockholm, Sweden (23 - 27 June, 1997)
  • 17 - Barcelona, Spain (3 - 9 September, 1995)
  • 16 - Cologne, Germany (3 - 9 May, 1993)
  • 15 - Bournemouth, United Kingdom (23 September - 1 October, 1991)
  • 14 - Budapest, Hungary (17 - 24 August, 1989)
  • 13 - Morelia, Mexico (12 - 21 October, 1987)
  • 12 - Perth, Australia (4 - 13 August, 1984)
  • 11 - Warsaw, Poland (28 July - 4 August, 1982)
  • 10 - Tokyo, Japan (25 August - 1 September, 1980)
  • 9 - College Park, USA (26 July - 2 August, 1978)
  • 8 - Moscow, USSR (3 - 10 August, 1976)
  • 7 - Madrid, Spain (28 April - 5 May, 1974)
  • 6 - Montreal and Ottawa, Canada (16 - 25 August, 1972)
  • 5 - Stresa, Italy (3 - 9 May, 1970)
  • 4 - New Delhi, India (6 - 15 December, 1968)
  • 3 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands (17 - 22 April, 1966)
  • 2 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom (31 July - 4 August, 1964)
  • 1 - Frankfurt, West Germany (10 - 15 September, 1962)
  • Foundation Meeting - Bern, Switzerland (9 June, 1959)


 

Useful definitions adopted by the 10th General Assembly in Barcelona, Spain (September 3, 1995)

MAP: A symbolised image of geographical reality, representing selected features or characteristics, resulting from the creative effort of its author's execution of choices, and is designed for use when spatial relationships are of primary relevance.

CARTOGRAPHY: The discipline dealing with the conception, production, dissemination and study of maps. 

CARTOGRAPHER: A person who engages in cartography.

Last modified on August 25, 2014
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