About the International Cartographic Association

About the ICA

The world authoritative body for cartography with a mission to promote the discipline and profession of cartography in an international context.
ICA logo
ICA logo

ICA Mission

  • 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.

ICA History

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).

Timelines

19 - 23 July, 2021

#30 - Florence, Italy (upcoming)

19 - 23 July, 2021

1 - 5 July, 2019

#29 - Tokyo, Japan

2 - 7 July, 2017

#28 - Washington DC, USA

2 - 7 July, 2017

23 - 28 August, 2015

#27 - Rio de Janiero, Brazil

4 - 9 July, 2011

#25 - Paris, France

4 - 9 July, 2011

15 - 21 November, 2009

#24 - Santiago, Chile

4 - 10 August, 2007

#23 - Moscow, Russia

4 - 10 August, 2007

9 - 16 July, 2005

#22 - A Coruña, Spain

26 - 30 August, 2013

#26 - Dresden, German

26 - 30 August, 2013

10 - 16 August, 2003

#21 - Durban, South Africa

6 - 10 August, 2001

#20 - Beijing, China

6 - 10 August, 2001

14 - 21 August, 199

#19 - Ottawa, Canada

3 - 9 September, 1995

#17 - Barcelona, Spain

3 - 9 September, 1995

23 - 27 June, 1997

#18 - Stockholm, Sweden

3 - 9 May, 1993

#16 - Cologne, Germany

3 - 9 May, 1993

23 September - 1 October, 1991

#15 - Bournemouth, UK

17 - 24 August, 1989

#14 - Budapest, Hungary

17 - 24 August, 1989

12 - 21 October, 1987

#13 - Morelia, Mexico

4 - 13 August, 1984

#12 - Perth, Australia

4 - 13 August, 1984

28 July - 4 August, 1982

#11 - Warsaw, Poland

25 August - 1 September, 1980

#10 - Tokyo, Japan

25 August - 1 September, 1980

26 July - 2 August, 1978

#9 - College Park, Maryland, USA

3 - 10 August, 1976

#8 - Moscow, USSR

3 - 10 August, 1976

28 April - 5 May, 1974

#7 - Madrid, Spain

16 - 25 August, 1972

#6 - Montreal and Ottawa, Canada

16 - 25 August, 1972

3 - 9 May, 1970

#5 - Stresa, Italy

6 - 15 December, 1968

#4 - New Delhi, India

6 - 15 December, 1968

17 - 22 April, 1966

#3 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

31 July - 4 August, 1964

#2 - Edinburgh, UK

31 July - 4 August, 1964

10 - 15 September, 1962

#1 - Frankfurt, West Germany

9 June, 1959

Foundation Meeting - Bern, Switzerland

9 June, 1959

2015

Menno-Jan Kraak (Netherlands)

2015

2011

Georg Gartner (Austria)

2007

William Cartwright (Australia)

2007

2003

Milan Konecny (Czech Republic)

1999

Bengt Rystedt (Sweden)

1999

1995

Michael Wood (UK)

1987

Fraser Taylor (Canada)

1987

1984

Joel L. Morrison (USA)

1976

Ferdinand J. Ormeling (Netherlands)

1976

1972

Arthur H. Robinson (USA)

1968

Konstantin A. Salichtchev (USSR)

1968

1964

Dennis E.O. Thackwell (UK)

1961

Eduard Imhof (Switzerland)

1961


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