From August 2015 until December 2016, the Swiss Society of Cartography (SSC) and their institutional members – amongst them swisstopo, Esri Switzerland, ETH Zurich, Zentralbibliothek Zurich, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Gletschergarten Lucerne and others – organized a total of 22 map events and several publications, which promoted Swiss cartography and cartographic products.
Among others, the SSC published a special issue Map Year of the Journal Geomatik Schweiz. Different aspects of map production and their different fields of application in Switzerland are described therein.
The Society organized two symposiums at the beginning and the end of the International Map Year, one of which was also promoted as National Map Day on 29 October 2016. More than 200 participants went to these occasions. During 2015 the Society’s bi-annual cartographic prize Prix Carto was awarded. For the first time and especially for the Map Year, a new category for students was established, and three of the fives prizes went to young cartographers who have just started their career in this field. The award ceremony, which was well received, took place at the occasion of the Map Year symposium in October 2015.
Much attention in the public was also raised throughout the year with the Map Year map blog which was organized by the SSC and the Zentralbibliothek Zurich. During the 70 weeks of the Map Year 2015/16, 70 maps were presented, which convey a cross-section of Swiss map production. The blog offers a lot of background to the Swiss cartography and is spiced with a pinch of humor. The map blog will later also be published as a printed book.
Another – and most probably the most successful – event organized for the International Map Year was the GeoBeer with more than 150 attendees and cartographic presentations, which was hosted by the ETH Zurich.
In addition, the SSC organized a team – outfitted with Map Year shirts – for one of the biggest and most popular running events in Switzerland with around 14,000 participants: The Map Year Runners, a team of 14 cartographers finished the 116 km long track in and around Zurich. As part of the team was Sara I. Fabrikant, Vice-president of the International Cartographic Association ICA.
Finally, to complete the Map Year properly and celebrate our genuine love for maps, the SSC has launched a special gift in October on the occasion of the Swiss “National Map Day“ – a Map Year wine! The output of this fine red wine from the Mont Vully region is strictly limited to 50 numbered bottles and can be placed amongst map and wine lovers.
The Map Year festivities in Switzerland, which were surely a huge success, came to an end with one last event in the heart of Zurich – a map stall at one of the biggest Christmas Markets nationwide. Over 80 different cartographic products were on display, for sale or given away – under the banner of “WE LOVE MAPS“. There can’t be a better place to meet thousands of people in a cosy atmosphere and promote the cause of cartography!
– Thomas Schulz
President of the Swiss Society of Cartography