2015: The Year of the Map

Georg Gartner, president of the International Cartographic Association (ICA), recently sent a letter to ICA national delegates, commission chairs and affiliate members announcing that 2015 marks the start of the International Map Year (IMY), an initiative to celebrate maps in our lives, their place in society, their role in history and their importance to our future. This celebration will run through December 2016, with the official inauguration taking place this August at the International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro.

As an affiliate member, Intergraph has been involved with the ICA since the late 1980s, with personnel serving continuously on the United States National Committee for the International Cartographic Association. Several of us have also been involved in many of the ICA commissions and working groups over the years, working with customers and fellow ICA affiliate members around the globe on issues ranging from map generalization to map production.

As one of the U.S. National Committee members representing the commercial sector, it is my pleasure to participate in this global initiative. While Intergraph corporate headquarters may be in the United States, Intergraph has offices, partners and affiliates worldwide that also can participate in this initiative based on their own local perspective. On the IMY web site, you can find information about the program and suggestions on how to set up events and activities in your country. There also is a list of participating nations and primary contact persons. ICA delegates and members may have seen references to the IMY in last year’s biannual newsletter, ICA News (refer to page 7 for details).

You can see from the list of activities planned, that there are plenty of opportunities for mapping and GIScience professionals to get involved. As part of this effort, I would expect many of our colleagues and customers to get more involved in the commissions and working groups. I look forward to promoting more of the International Cartographic Association and its related activities with you in the coming year.

Creating alliances to promote the importance of maps and geospatial information around the world- that’s shaping smart change.


Jon Thies
GeoMedia Product Planning
Hexagon Geospatial Division

Blogger Profile: 

jon thiesJon Thies has been with Intergraph for 27 years, serving in assorted roles associated with cartography and GIS. His early years focused primarily on map production global implementations for private mapping companies, as well as government mapping agencies. Jon’s recent focus is aligned more along functional design and an improved user experience for the GeoMedia-based products. Jon currently serves as a member of the United States National Committee for the International Cartographic Association, serving his second term. Prior to Intergraph, Jon spent 10 years as a cartographic technician with several federal government agencies including the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

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