A stamp for International Map Year

The Swiss Cartographic Society engages in many special activities during International Map Year, such as publications, exhibitions, events or cartography awards. To better promote IMY and its ideas amongst members and the general public, the society also produced promotional materials. One of the latest ideas is a special webstamp designed for IMY. It is being used on mail by the society and will for sure raise attention by the recipients when they look at the envelope!

Swiss webstamp created for the International Map Year

Swiss webstamp created for the International Map Year

– Thomas Schulz, Switzerland

By |January 26th, 2016|0 Comments

Map Year celebrations in Slovenia

We are happy to announce that Slovenia joined the IMY celebrations! Dušan Petrovič reports about past events and activities planned for 2016.

Dušan Petrovič announces IMY in Slovenia

Dušan Petrovič announces IMY in Slovenia

IMY in Slovenia officially started on October 18, 2015, when the International Map Year was announced at the academy of the 25th Anniversary of the Slovenian Orienteering Federation. The event took place in the old cinema in the town of Idria, one of the roots of orienteering in Slovenia, also known as a mine city with one of the world’s largest former mercury mines. The event was well received: It attracted orienteering runners from all generations and sister organizations (alpine club, boy scouts, etc.) and also hosted the president of the National Olympic Committee as well as the major of Idria.

Introducing IMY was one of the highlights of the event. It included the award ceremony for 8-year-old Andraž. His picture “The whole world is on the same boat” won the 1st prize in the category 6–8 years in the international round of the Barbara Petchenik Competition 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Andraž receiving the award for his 1st prize in the international round of the Barbara Petchenik competition. His winning picture "The whole world is on the same boat" can be seen on the right.

Andraž receiving the award for his 1st prize in the international round of the Barbara Petchenik competition. His winning picture “The whole world is on the same boat” can be seen on the right.

Maps – mostly orienteering maps – were also incorporated in other parts of the celebration. The event concluded in a nearby gallery, where an exhibition on historical and nowadays orienteering maps was prepared. The exhibition remained open for another week.

The main event celebrating IMY in Slovenia is going to be 44th Slovenian Surveying Day in March 2016. The Slovenian Surveying Day event is organised yearly, in the last years together with the Day of the European Surveyor and Geoinformation. The main organizer is the Association of Surveyors of Slovenia, the event attracts a wide scope of stakeholders in the field of surveying, state administrations, local communities, companies, etc. In 2016 the title of the Slovenian Surveying Day will be “Maps for efficient decision-making”, which will focus on the relevance of maps in all processes of planning, administrating and using the territory. We are proud to be hosting ICA president, Prof. Dr. Menno-Jan Kraak.

– Dušan Petrovič, Slovenian IMY coordinator

By |January 20th, 2016|0 Comments

IMY celebrations are appreciated everywhere

In addition to thematic seminars and expert meetings, it is important to promote maps to the general public, therefore, many activities are focused on different target groups or local events. An example of such an event is the exhibition at a local elementary school in Bystročice (small village, less than 1000 inhabitants) near Olomouc in the Czech Republic organized by the Department of Geoinformatics, Faculty of Science, Palacký University Olomouc (Czech Republic), which is a leading promoter of the International Map Year in the Czech Republic. Local citizens and school pupils had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the development of regional maps. The first appearance of Bystročice village in a map is dating back to 1716 and there were presented samples of dozens old maps. The exhibition was implemented via posters with IMY logo.






The great interest of visitors of the exhibition proves that IMY celebrations are appreciated everywhere!

Guest author: Alena Vondráková

By |January 20th, 2016|0 Comments

Unfolding the map: Map exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand


Unfolding the Map is a celebration of New Zealand cartography. It starts with the oral cartographies of early Polynesian navigators and pre-European Maori (Polynesian navigators were criss-crossing the Pacific a couple of hundred years before Columbus ventured west across the Atlantic). It includes early print maps from the 17th and 18th centuries and traces the print cartography of New Zealand through to the present day. New Zealand is, as you are probably aware, one of the most recently settled countries on earth. The historic and contemporary print maps on display are drawn mostly from Archives New Zealand and the library’s Alexander Turnbull Collection. They fall into one of five categories:

  • Coastal charting
  • Surveying and the Cadastre
  • Resources and Environment
  • Topographic Mapping
  • Recreation and Tourism

There is a section of the exhibition devoted to the art and science of cartography and the cartographic process. This also looks at how technology has periodically revolutionised map-making and given rise to or changed the face of other geographical information sciences like geodesy and remote sensing.

Digital cartography is also explored using a mix of projected dynamic map content, video, and ipads with access to interactive storymaps and selected webmapping applications. A separate area is devoted to telling the stories behind some of New Zealand’s more evocative place names. And lastly there is a giant floor map of New Zealand, and an interactive world map for children.

The exhibition started in October 2015 and continues to August 2016, which coincides with the International Map Year. It has been curated by Roger Smith from the Wellington-based cartographic design company Geographx.

There is a parallel programme of public events including a lecture series focusing on map-related topics. There is also an educational outreach programme targeted at New Zealand schools.

Please find all details at


geological sketch map

Image of a geological sketch map compiled by James Hector, Director of the NZ Geological Survey in 1873. This map was prepared specially for the International Vienna Exhibition in 1873. The cartography is by Augustus Koch.

The Tuki map

The Tuki map – this is the earliest known drawn map by Maori. Tuki was the son of a tohunga, or priest, one of two young Māori kidnapped in 1793 off the Cavalli Islands and taken to Norfolk Island to teach convicts how to dress flax. The map was drawn in 1793 for the lieutenant-governor of Norfolk Island, Philip King.

By |December 21st, 2015|0 Comments

New language versions of the logo available

Apart from the IMY logo in English, there are now also versions in French, Arab and Russian available in the logo download section!




Thanks to Naeema Al Hosani for the Arab translation, to Alexander Коханов for the Russion version and to Roger Wheate for the French version.

If you would like to create a new translated logo version, please send a draft based on the EPS file to – thank you!

By |December 20th, 2015|2 Comments

IMY celebrations at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

NASFaculty_IMY2015-2016The University of Pretoria (UP) celebrated the International Map Year this year in three ways: the Centre for Geo-information Science (CGIS) Map Competition; a map assignment challenge for first-year and third-year students in BSc Geo-informatics and most importantly, the 2015 CGIS Mini-conference.

The 2015 CGIS Mini-conference: Maps in research at UP aimed to showcase the role of maps in research conducted at UP. Postgraduate supervisors from across the University were invited to nominate students under their supervision for a presentation at the mini-conference. We asked for presentations with ‘map’ or ‘mapping’ in the title and abstracts describing the role of maps in the research.

A variety of presentations showcases the use of maps in research at UP. Maps are used in research in multiple disciplines. The following examples can be cited: the use of maps in different departments and faculties; maps are used in inter-disciplinary research, such as in cartography and psychology which are combined in research that makes use of eye tracking to study how people read and understand maps. Maps are also used in multi-disciplinary research, where, for example we draw on cartography and geography/plant science in research that aims to spatially analyse / understand natural and human-made phenomena around us.

The presentations included ‘traditional’ uses of mapping and spatial analysis …

  • to help us understand our natural environment
  • to help us plan for urbanisation;
  • and to help us plan for much needed renewable energies.

There were also presentations on novel high-tech applications of cartography, such as augmented reality and 3D eye tracking. Finally, the keynote address on forensic mapping is a less frequently heard of application of mapping.

All the presenters were UP students who are supervised in more than one faculty and in various departments. In some cases co-supervisors were from other universities or research councils. At the end of the mini-conference, the winners of the 2015 UP CGIS Map Competition received their prize money and a map atlas donated by Esri.

2015 CGIS Mini-Conference: Maps in Research at UP, 6 November 2015

2015 CGIS Mini-Conference: Maps in Research at UP, 6 November 2015

We are also celebrating International Map Year 2015/6 with an exhibition of maps in the UP library. The exhibition showcases maps produced by students, staff and other organisations. Some interesting map books from the library are on display, such as a population map from 1904. During November the library expects anything between 4,600 to 7,400 visitors daily.

CGIS Map Exhibition: UP Student Competition Maps & Other South African Companies, Merensky II, 2–23 November 2015, Hatfield Campus

CGIS Map Exhibition: UP Student Competition Maps & Other South African Companies, 2–23 November 2015

– Serena Coetzee

By |November 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Loving Maps & the Daisy

The ICA Commission on Cartographic Heritage into the Digital created a playful poster for IMY. Enjoy :-)


Click here for the full resolution poster (50x70cm).

By |November 27th, 2015|0 Comments

International Map Year continues: Planetary Maps Exhibition in Zvyozdny gorodok (Russia)

MIIGAiK Extraterrestrial Laboratory (MExLab) continues celebrating the International Map Year in Russia. We organized a Planetary map exhibition at the XI International Scientific and Practical Conference “Manned Space Flights”.

The conference which was hosted in Zvyozdny gorodok at the Russian Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center named after Yury Gagarin, was dedicated to the 55th anniversary of this center. The main purpose of this center is research on the creation and operation of manned spacecrafts, cosmonaut selection and the training process of in-flight activities for cosmonauts. Extraterrestrial maps are very important for cosmonautics, e.g. for navigating spaceships and for choosing appropriate landing surfaces on the planets.


So we are very enthusiastic to contribute for the Conference our planetary maps, especially today, November 17, in 45-year anniversary of the Lunokhod-1! Lunokhod-1, the first unmanned rover on a planetary body, was deployed to the lunar surface and started its 10km journey in the Mare Imbrium on the 17 November, operated remotely from Earth. During the mission about 200 detailed panoramic images were transmitted to the Earth and provided unique scientific experiments. New mission of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) allowed us to study Lunokhods landing sites in more detail, refine rover tracks, give names to the craters along the route and create an accurate map.

The exhibition enjoyed great popularity at the conference, which was attended by about 700 participants. We exhibited the following maps, which were produced under support of the Russian Science Foundation and attracted great attention:



Don’t forget to keep an eye on our website ( and follow us on twitter @MEx_Lab!

Guest author: Irina Petrovna Karachevtseva

By |November 17th, 2015|0 Comments

International Map Year Event at NACIS 2015 in Minneapolis, USA

In celebration of International Map Year 2015–2016, the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) decided to open their annual meeting’s map gallery to the general public. The event included print and digital maps from students and professional members, a map art exhibit entitled The Tangible Maps Exhibit, and the United States and Canadian Children’s Maps from the 2015 Barbara Petchenik Children’s Mapping Competition.


We had a steady stream of visitors from Minneapolis, including several parents or grandparents who brought their children, and who heard an interview about the exhibit on Minnesota Public Radio (available here online) and thought it would be interesting to go and see some maps. As a result of the success of this experiment with opening the exhibition to the public, NACIS has decided to try to do this at future conferences, which are held in different cities in the US and Canada in early October each year.







We would like to thank the International Cartography Association’s Commission on Cartography and Children for making the USA and Canadian entries to the competition available for this exhibition.

– Amy L Griffin, NACIS president

By |November 17th, 2015|0 Comments

It’s Geography Awareness Week: Explore! The Power of Maps

Geography Awareness Week (GeoWeek) is a geographic literacy initiative celebrated every third week of November and sponsored by the National Geographic Society. This year’s theme is Explore! The Power of Maps. From the invitation:

Celebrate and explore the power of maps November 15–21, 2015. Spatial thinking through maps is one of the most important skills that students can develop as they learn geography, Earth and environmental sciences, and so much more. –

The National Geographic website offers lots of tools and resources to celebrate Geography Awareness Week and to organize related events. An interesting read is also their article on 100 Years of National Geographic Maps: The Art and Science of Where.

Geography Aweareness Week


GIS Day was incorporated into GeoWeek in 1999 to highlight the potential of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to improve the population’s geo-literacy. It takes place every Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week – this year on Wednesday, November 18. It’s supported by the GIS company Esri and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). More information and a list of all events organized world-wide can be found on

National Map Day in the US

Scheduled within Geography Awareness Week, the US national Map Year committee organizes a National Map Day on Monday, November 16 with invitations to users from different fields such as agriculture, forestry, physical planning, housing, and natural resources. The main theme for this day will be discussions of the educational value of maps in helping to teach students and adults about their cultural and physical environments.

By |November 15th, 2015|0 Comments

A great resource for IMY: Planetary maps designed for kids

Taking the latest scientific data, papers, and geological maps, graphic artists and planetary scientists joined together to design maps for children. The maps show the surfaces of the most geologically interesting bodies in our Solar System: Venus, the Moon, Mars, Io, Europa and Titan. All maps have not only the alien surface shown, but also feature fictional characters that interact with the surface. The kids’ imagination can further develop the map content into stories of their own.

Each map was designed by a different graphic designer – all professional illustrators of childrens’ books –, allowing a great variety of visual approaches. Although there are no real aliens found on any of those planets and moons, Venus, Mars and Europa are of special astrobiological interest because they have potential habitats that might harbor life. All maps and additional online explanations were translated to 11 languages, including Romani. The series is planned to be continued by adding the Pluto-Charon system, and an irregular body to the list. The maps are free to download in high quality and can be ordered directly in printed form, in the USA.

Guest author: Henrik Hargitai of the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography

Some previews can be found here…


By |October 19th, 2015|0 Comments

Resources for printing IMY buttons

IMY buttons by Vít Voženílek and his team

Would you like to produce buttons to celebrate IMY? Vít Voženílek and his team printed IMY buttons in 5 different styles. Please find their templates below – feel free to re-use them or to use them as inspiration for your own IMY buttons:

Thanks for sharing!

Further templates and resources can be found in the promotional material section.

By |October 19th, 2015|0 Comments

Planetary Maps Exhibitions

In the frame of the International Map Year celebrations, Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK) and MIIGAiK Extraterrestrial Laboratory (MExLab) organized several cartographic exhibitions, where maps as results of the research of various celestial bodies produced by MExLab under support of the Russian Science Foundation as well as Planetary Maps for Children prepared by the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography have been presented.


One of the Planetary Maps Exhibitions was organized on September 24–25, 2015 in Berlin at ISPRS Working Group IV/8 „”Planetary Mapping and Spatial Databases” meeting. The Working Group focuses on the development of advanced techniques in data acquisition, processing, and analysis pertaining to the mapping of planetary bodies.

The Planetary Maps Exhibition at Technische Universität Berlin (TUB, Germany) in frame of ISPRS Working Group IV/8 meeting

The Planetary Maps Exhibition at Technische Universität Berlin (TUB, Germany) in frame of ISPRS Working Group IV/8 meeting, where planetary maps for children were presented in German

The next Planetary Maps Exhibition was held in frame of Sixth Moscow Solar System Symposium (6M–S3) at Space Research Institute (IKI) on October 5–9, 2015. Solar System Symposium is one of the main international events in Russia on space research. Subject matter of the 6M-S3 covers various scientific problems with a central topic “Moon and Mars exploration”, including future Russian missions to the Moon (“Luna-Glob” and “Luna-Resource”) as well as international mission “EXOMARS”, the project that is developing now in cooperation with ROSCOSMOS (Russian Space Agency) and ESA (European Space Agency).

6M-S3 as an international event brings together scientists from all over the world, so the planetary maps for children were presented in English.

Cartographers Anastasiya Zharkova and Zhanna Rodionova demonstrated a new hypsometric Globe of Mercury at the Planetary Maps Exhibition in Space Research Institute (IKI), Moscow, October 5–9, 2015

Cartographers Anastasiya Zharkova and Zhanna Rodionova demonstrated a new hypsometric Globe of Mercury at the Planetary Maps Exhibition in Space Research Institute (IKI), Moscow, October 5–9, 2015. The new hypsometric Globe of Mercury was presented in honor of the 50th anniversary of IKI.

Guest author: Irina Petrovna Karachevtseva

Please note: The wonderful Planetary Maps for Children are now freely available in 11 languages.

By |October 14th, 2015|0 Comments

OBRAC – The 1st Brazilian Cartographic Olympiad

In the context of International Map Year, Brazil organized a highly successful Cartographic Olympiad (OBRAC) this year. The olympiad had national coverage and was focused on high school students, aged between 14 and 18 years, from public and private schools. Over 5000 students signed up! Activities included map tasks on a distance learning platform as well as face-to-face tests, technical visits and an orienteering competition.

OBRAC 2015

Angelica Carvalho Di Maio and her colleagues assembled a detailed report about their activities including heart-warming feedback by participating students, such as:

The OBRAC was the best thing that happened in 2015, today I am passionate for cartography. I learned to appreciate the beauty of the maps and their importance in our daily lives.

Great job and a huge thank you to everyone making OBRAC such a successful event!

More information: OBRAC website | Facebook page | Map of all participating schools | ICC2015 paper


By |October 6th, 2015|0 Comments

FixWikiMaps: Help improving maps during IMY

FixWikiMaps projectWikipedia has become a great resource for people to learn about anything and everything, and its constant up-to-date database has become a reliable source for many individuals throughout the world. While the text is constantly getting updated and corrected, the maps and graphics leave something to be desired. The FixWikiMaps Project is here to fix that.

FixWikiMaps is a project started with the goal to update, correct, and beautify all the maps and visualizations throughout Wikipedia. In order to do this, FixWikiMaps teamed up with the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) to have the first ever MapLift, a week long event to find maps on Wikipedia and complete the FixWikiMaps mission. The event occurred from August 28th through September 4th, had over 180 signups, and the results were fantastic.

Louisiana Purchase – this map was updated and beautified by MapLift

Louisiana Purchase – this map was updated and beautified by MapLift

Louisiana Purchase map before the update

Louisiana Purchase map before the update

MapLift added over 132 new maps to the FixWikiMaps website and database, taking the total number available for lifting from 90 to 224. Of those 224 maps, 72 of them were completed and uploaded to Wikipedia. Some saw drastic updates while others need minor tweaks in labeling, color, or data in order to more closely follow the map guidelines of Wikipedia. Along with the online MapLift event, there were also in person events held around the US as well, including 4 Maptime chapters devoting their monthly meetings to MapLift.

Map of Lake Turkana – this map was newly created within the MapLift project

Map of Lake Turkana – this map was newly created within the MapLift project

MapLift also brought positives to FixWikiMaps and NACIS. FixWikiMaps created a new website ( with more functionality and is still constantly expanding. As well as the new website for FixWikiMaps, both NACIS and FixWikiMaps received some great publicity on Twitter. Both accounts received a huge influx of followers and was a featured topic on the #geowebchat of September.

If you’d like to contribute to the FixWikiMaps Project, head over to to see what maps are available and claim one. Be sure to also check out NACIS and their annual conference coming up this October 13th–October 17th in Minneapolis. It’s not too late to still sign up!

Guest author: Brian Davidson

By |October 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

Moscow joins the Map Year celebrations


Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK) joins the Map Year celebrations! Here is a message from local IMY coordinator Irina Petrovna Karachevtseva:

Our university was established in 1779. It is one of the oldest institutions in the field of Geodesy and Cartography. MIIGAiK has a long history and a lot of mapping traditions, so we are very pleased to welcome the International Map Year (IMY)!

On the occasion of this event MIIGAiK Extraterrestrial Laboratory (MExLab) have printed a series of planetary maps under support of the Russian Science Foundation and organized a cartographic exhibition. We are very proud to continue such useful work as Cartography. And we are happy that the events like IMY help us to convey the importance of our work to others and share experiences with cartographers worldwide.

Thank you from Russia for Map Year organization!

Our laboratory has a twitter: @MEx_Lab – Subscribe to be informed of the latest developments!



Thank you for your committment, MIIGAiK!

By |October 2nd, 2015|1 Comment

Winners of the Barbara Petchenik Competition 2015

The Barbara Petchenik Competition is a biennial map drawing competition for children. The competition is first organized on a national level. The national winners can then compete in the international round, which takes place during the International Cartographic Conferences. This year at ICC2015 in Rio de Janeiro, 189 drawings from 38 countries were exhibited. An international jury selected 12 winners in 4 categories. There was also a public vote, in which 287 people participated. Please find the wonderful results below.

Winners >12 years

1st: Liao Zhiyuan (15), China – A world of lotus, a world of harmony2nd: Valentina Sturcz (14), Hungary – Let the music for everyone3rd: Pan Sin Yi (15), Malaysia – The world in our hands

Winners 9–12 years

1st: Alexandra Papadopoulou, Maria Katopodi, Christina Louko (12), Greece – My place in today's world through my own vision2nd: Maria Piątkowska (12), Poland – Europe is my home3rd: Ada Maria Ciontu (11), Romania – Building bridges of peace across the world

Winners 6–8 years

1st: Andraž Umek (8), Slovenia – The whole world is on the same boat2nd: Adristi Hita Andani (8), Indonesia – Our Earth and Pollutions3rd: Luka H.del Avellano and Luana N.Salazar Harder (8), Mexico – We are part of all


Winners <6 years

1st: Adam Paketur (5), Lithuania – I live here2nd: Aleksandra Garkova (5), Bulgaria – The animals of the world3rd: Ruwindya Indraratne (5), Sri Lanka – We'll fix the pieces to bring peace

Winner of the public vote

3rd: Pan Sin Yi (15), Malaysia – The world in our hands

Congratulations to all winners! Also a huge thank you to all participating children, their parents, teachers and national organizers.

By |September 15th, 2015|0 Comments

Mexico joins the Map Year celebrations

We are happy to welcome Mexico in the list of IMY committees! The inaugural ceremony of IMY Mexico was held on August 26, 2015. Host was the public research center CentroGeo located in Mexico City.

CentroGeo's IMY Committee:  Gabriela Quiroz, Gabriela Lopez, Yezmín Calvillo and Jose Alavez

CentroGeo’s IMY Committee: Gabriela Quiroz, Gabriela Lopez, Yezmín Calvillo and Jose Alavez

Ein von CentroGeo (@imy_mx) gepostetes Foto am

IMY Mexico coordinator Jose Alavez presented the aims of IMY and also CentroGeo’s director Jose Ignacio Chapela had some words for the attendees. The event discussed the goals of IMY for Mexico and how it could help to foster the role of maps, geomatics and cartography in society.

Planned activities include a monthly map contest, children’s map workshops and a map exhibition.

IMY Mexico is very active on different social media channels: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Keep up the good work, IMY Mexico!

By |August 31st, 2015|0 Comments

Opening of the International Map Year at #ICC2015 in Rio!

IMY was officially openend during the opening ceremony of the International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Greg Scott (UN-GGIM), Bengt Rystedt (IMY Coordinator) and Georg Gartner (ICA). In their accompanying notes, Greg Scott highlighted the importance of maps in tackling global challenges on our way to a sustainable planet, Bengt Rystedt explained the concept and the instruments IMY is offering and Georg Gartner elaborated on the relevance of IMY and cartography.

International Map Year is opened at ICC2015

Georg Gartner (ICA), Greg Scott (UN-GGIM) and Bengt Rystedt (IMY Coordinator) at the IMY opening ceremony


Welcome to International Map Year!
What are your plans to celebrate maps in the next two years?
Let us know! #welovemaps

By |August 26th, 2015|0 Comments

The International Map Year 2015–2016 officially opened!

The International Map Year 2015–2016 was  officially opened at August 25  during the opening ceremony of the International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! 


More information on the IMY opening with Bengt Rystedt, Georg Gartner and Gregory Scott from UN-GGIM will follow.

To share your experiences and to stay up-to-date with everything happening at ICC2015, please use hashtag #icc2015rio

By |August 24th, 2015|0 Comments