Mapping approaches in a changing world

Mapping approaches in a changing world

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‘Mapping approaches in a changing world’
22nd International Cartographic Conference, 9 -16 July, A Coruna, Spain

Rituparna Sengupta
Email: [email protected]

International Cartographic Association (ICA), the world’s authoritative body for cartography, held its 22nd International Cartographic Conference (ICC) entitled ‘Mapping Approaches in a Changing World’ from July 9th – 16th in A Coruna, Spain.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE
In today’s dynamic world geographic information technologies have become indispensable tools for the acquisition of territorial knowledge and for the improvement of the overall quality of life for humankind. Their contribution will be essential in order to preserve the environment, and to maintain the balance between mankind and the environment. The efforts of the ICC were directed towards these objectives.

OPENING CEREMONY
A Coruna’s new exhibition and conference centre PALEXCO, offering a breathtaking view over the Atlantic Ocean, played host to the conference. A Coruna had picked up the baton from Durban where the last Congress was held. The conference witnessed over 2000 participants and became a meeting ground for delegates from 80 countries around the globe. Prof. Milan Konecny, President, ICA reaffirmed the vision of the conference to initiate a value-creating platform to address issues of risk awareness creation for natural disasters at the global, regional and local levels. He highlighted the colossal damage caused by the last year’s tsunami., which actually showed that technology does not have the capacity to answer all problems.

He further informed that ICA was actively working through 20 commissions or groups responding to research challenges of the contemporary world. Soon ICA will start publishing the International Yearbook of Cartography as decided by the Executive Committee. ICA is also actively extending help to developing countries to avoid the problem of global digital divide. Active commissions of ICA are working along these lines in Africa and Latin America. Pro Konecny mentioned -”ICA is a proud, visible and strong organisation” whose aim is to work in all continents to solve the global problems like sustainable development. Ramon M Lorenzo Martinez, Conference Director, Vice President of the ICA and the President of the Spanish Society of Cartography, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing also pointed out the great amount of responsibility the world of maps have in the light of contemporary events of growing risks from natural disasters, climate change which affect the overall quality of life of the world population. A memorable and vibrant Galician traditional dance provided a cheerful flagoff for the conference.

CONFERENCE EVENTS
The conference events were spread over the International Map Exhibition, Barbara Petchenik Children´s World Map Exhibition, Technical Commercial Exhibition and the Technical Sessions, which were based on 29 themes this year. The technical sessions were organised in 29 themes including current themes like SDI as well as unusual themes like Tourist Cartography, Gender and Under Represented Groups and Cartography. Total 540 papers were selected for oral presentations and 210 poster presentations. All of them have been incorporated in the conference proceedings in DVD format.

This year the best maps made by each of the participating countries in the previous years were included in the International Map Exhibition with the aim that the audience could become familiar with the main projects under way globally in the field of cartography. The exhibition presented the last works carried out by 33 countries and other affiliated members of the ICA. The Technical Commercial Exhibition with industry players showcased the latest state of the art equipments for cartography and geographical information. The Barbara Petchenik Children´s World Map Exhibition held a delightful collection of maps by children from total 30 countries. The unique aim of the competition was to promote the creative representations of the world in graphic form by children. One observation was the common thread of a desire for world peace and global unity spelled out in almost all the map themes cutting across all boundaries. Miti Nayanesh Modi from India viewed the world like a jigsaw puzzle. Her work was titled – ‘Its Amazing How We Can Fit into Each Other’.

The ICC Conference in A Coruna culminated in a positive direction for the mapping world, thus paving the way for the next ICC 2007 CONFERENCE scheduled to be held in Moscow, Russia.