ICC 2013 preconference workshop “Mapping in a digital world”

Organized by the ICA Commissions on Map Design and Neocartography, this one-day workshop pre-conference to the ICA International Cartographic Conference 2013 will explore practical themes relating to the design and creation of effective online maps and information products. The updated schedule is now available below and we very much look forward to your participation in Dresden this coming Saturday (24th August 2013).

Morning presentations by a range of acknowledged experts in the field will seek to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art as well as touch on some of the challenges we face. Afternoon presentations will look at more specific user-oriented projects. We will share ideas and seek to develop common threads to take work in this area forward as part of a series of lightning talks and a panel discussion. Please come prepared to participate…

The workshop is being held in Room 101, 1st floor of the Lecture Hall of the TU Dresden, Bergstraße 64, 01069 Dresden, Germany

We aim to start at 9:30 and we are providing full morning and afternoon refreshments as well as lunch. There is no cost to attend the workshop.

There’s still time to join us and participants can Register Here


09:30 – 09:40      Welcome and introduction (Kenneth Field, Esri Inc and Steve Chilton, University of Middlesex)

09:40 – 10:00      Thoughts on the future of mapping in a digital world (Georg Gartner, President of ICA)

10:00 – 10:30      New paradigms in digital, interactive realtime cartography (Andrew Turner, Esri Inc)

10:30 – 11:00      The aesthetics of mapping (Alex Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University)

11:00 – 11:30      Break (refreshments provided)

11:30 – 12:00      The state of the mapping API (Gary Gale, Nokia)

12:00 – 12:30      Re-Designing the Next Generation of Multi-scale World Topographic Maps: A Changing Landscape (Damien Demaj, Esri Inc)

12:30 – 13:30       Lunch (lunch provided)

13:30 – 13:50       Multiple ways to depict the World (Julia Mia Stirnemann, Universität Bern)

13:50 – 14:10      Color for Online Mapping: Still difficult to choose (Beate Weninger, HafenCity University Hamburg)

14:10 – 14:30      Map activities in Wikipedia and the cooperation with OpenStreetMap (Tim Alder, Wikipedia/OpenStreetMap activist)

14:30 – 14:50      It’s Not Just Interactivity: Web Map Layout, Design, and Aesthetics (Ian Muehlenhaus, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse)

14:50 – 15:20      Break (refreshments provided)

15:20 – 16:00       Lightning talks by participants to be determined unconference style

16:00 – 16:45       Panel discussion led by the organisers

Panel: Andrew Turner, Gary Gale, Damien Demaj, Alex Kent, [led by Kenneth Field & Steve Chilton]

The panel will be invited to discuss a range of themes that have emerged throughout the day and also topics that the participants wish to explore.  In particular, we’re keen to explore how a research agenda for design in online mapping might be shaped for the next few years.  What are the major challenges and opportunities?  How might these be approached and, possibly, solved? What can the ICA Commissions do to push forward research and/or action?

16:45 – 17:00 Closing remarks

Organizers: Kenneth Field, Alexander Kent, Bernie Jenny, AnjaHopfstock (ICA Commission on Map Design); Steve Chilton, Manuela Schmidt, Andrew Turner (ICA Commission on Neocartography)

There’s still time to join us and participants can Register Here

Commission Chairs meeting: Vienna


Chair Kenneth Field and Co-Chair Alexander Kent represented the Commission on Map Design at a meeting of the ICA Executive Committee and Commission Chairs in Vienna 24/25th November.  The meeting provided an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas on how the work of the ICA Commissions should be shaped for the next four years.  New ICA President Georg Gartner outlined his vision for the period and enabled us to explore a wide range of exciting opportunities and challenges.  Both Ken and Alex were able to develop a clearer idea for the successful operation of the new Commission. Core to the initial work will be to further develop the web site, membership and begin to outline strategy and content to support map design more widely.

Meeting: Esri International User Conference July 2011

Only days after the Commission was approved by the ICA General Assembly at the ICC Paris conference, Chair Kenneth Field and Vice-Chair Anja Hopfstock held a second meeting at the 2011 Esri International Conference in San Diego.  This was to be the first official meeting of the Commission though it was held in the same vein as the Paris meeting in that we sought further ideas on the issues and approach for the Commission from a wide range of people.  There were a number of useful discussions and overlaps with the ideas that came out of the Paris meeting.

It was key for people to see the Commission bringing back the relevance of design to cartography, particularly in an age of democratized map-making; to convince map-makers who perhaps disregard a great deal of cartography to see the value of it in their own work; to provide examples of good practice and avenues to information; and to be open and inclusive.

These seem like good principles to us! Thanks to all who participated and whose comments will help shape our efforts to provide a voice for high quality design in map-making.

Meeting: ICC Paris July 2011

Prior to approval at the ICC meeting in Paris, the organizers of the Commission took the opportunity to hold a preliminary, inaugural meeting.  The meeting was attended by 15 people from a range of backgrounds and a lively discussion on the definition, value and purpose of design in modern cartography ensued.  The meeting was held to table ideas and help shape the thinking of the organizers; to begin to explore what the issues are and how best to approach them.  A number of excellent ideas were discussed which we will be moving ahead with in the coming months.  Some key phrases that resonated:

  • there is no objective solution to map design
  • we do not need a map Police…but we might need a clean up crew
  • we should be re-imagining the principles of graphicacy to enable people to communicate through cartography
  • bring back the aesthetic in map design
  • bring the principles of design to a new audience of map-makers
  • we don’t want vanilla mapping borne of a single set of principles – we need flavours!
  • the key is to communicate why map design is important