International Cartographic Association

The International Cartographic Association (ICA) (French: Association Cartographique Internationale, ACI), is an organization formed of national member organizations, to provide a forum for issues and techniques in cartography and GIScience. ICA was founded on June 9, 1959, in Bern, Switzerland.[1] The first General Assembly was held in Paris in 1961. The mission of the International Cartographic Association is to promote the disciplines and professions of cartography and GIScience in an international context. To achieve these aims, the ICA works with national and international governmental and commercial bodies, and with other international scientific societies.[2]

International Cartographic Association
Formation1959 (1959)
Region served
Official language
English, French
Tim Trainor
Parent organization
International Council for Science
WebsiteICA Official website


The first president, Eduard Imhof of Switzerland was heavily involved in founding the association.[3]

TermPresidentFrom country
2019-Tim Trainor United States
2015-2019Menno-Jan Kraak Netherlands
2011-2015Georg Gartner Austria
2007-2011William Cartwright Australia
2003-2007Milan Konecny Czech Republic
1999-2003Bengt Rystedt Sweden
1995-1999Michael Wood United Kingdom
1987-1995Fraser Taylor Canada
1984-1987Joel Morrison United States
1976-1984Ferdinand Ormeling Netherlands
1972-1976Arthur H. Robinson United States
1968-1972Konstantin Salichtchev Soviet Union
1964-1968Dennis Thackwell United Kingdom
1961-1964Eduard Imhof  Switzerland

Secretaries-General and Treasurers

The Secretary-General and Treasurer is responsible for the administration and the general running of the Association.

2019-...Thomas Schulz  Switzerland
2011-2019László Zentai Hungary
2007-2011David Fairbairn United Kingdom
1999-2007Ferjan Ormeling Netherlands
1991-1999Jean-Philippe Grélot France
1984-1991Donald T. Pearce Australia
1976-1984Olof W. Hedbom Sweden
1968-1976Ferdinand Ormeling Netherlands
1961-1964Erwin Gigas West Germany

Executive Committee

On 20 July 2019 member nations elected the new Executive Committee (EC) of the ICA for the 2019–2023 term. New ICA president is Tim Trainor.[4]


To coordinate international cartographic work Commissions and Working Groups have been established. These are chaired by experts in a specific field of cartography and comprise members from the international Cartography and GIScience community.


ICA allows two types of memberships:[5]

  • Affiliate members are organisations, institutions or companies wishing to support the mission and activities of ICA.
  • National members are national organizations dealing with cartography or geoinformation, such as national mapping agencies.[6]


International Cartographic Conferences (ICC) take place every second year in one of the member countries. At every second conference (every fourth year) it hosts the General Assembly of the ICA.[7]

ICC Conferences

ICA Awards

Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal

The Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal honours cartographers of outstanding merit who have made significant contributions of an original nature to the field of cartography. It is awarded only on rare occasions. The award is named after the Swedish cartographer, Carl Mannerfelt, who in 1981 won the prize named after him.[8]

Recipients [9]
Fraser TaylorCanada2013
Ferjan OrmelingThe Netherlands2009
Jack DangermondUnited States of America2007
David RhindUnited Kingdom2005
Ernst SpiessSwitzerland2005
Chen ShupengChina2001
Joel L. MorrisonUnited States of America2001
Jacques BertinFrance1999
Ferdinand J. OrmelingThe Netherlands1987
Carl MannerfeltSweden1981
Arthur H. RobinsonUnited States of America1980
Konstantin A. SalichtchevSoviet Union1980
Eduard ImhofSwitzerland1979–1980

ICA Honorary Fellowship

The ICA Honorary Fellowship is for cartographers of international reputation who have made special contribution to the ICA. It includes a bronze medal.

ICA Map Awards at the International Map Exhibition

At the biennial International Map Exhibitions at the ICC an international jury selects the best entries.[10]

Barbara Petchenik International Children Map Design Competition

This competition is organized every two years at the ICC. In a national round in all participating ICA member countries, the national winners are selected, which are exhibited during the International Cartographic Conference, where the international winners are selected.[11]


ICA offers a number of publications.[12] Its official journal is the International Journal of Cartography.


  1. "History of the ICA". ICA. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  2. "Mission". ICA. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  3. "Executive Committee Archive". ICA. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  4. "Results of the 18th General Assembly of the ICA". ICA. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  5. "Membership types". ICA. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  6. "International Cartographic Conferences". ICA. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  7. "ICA Award Medals". ICA. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  8. ICA
  9. "ICA Map Awards". ICA. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  10. "Barbara Petchenik Children's World Map Drawing Competition". ICA. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
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