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


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

New IMY folder and posters available

We updated our Promotional Material section with an IMY folder and two sets of poster layouts. Printed versions of the folder will be available at ICC2015 in Rio.

Map Year Folder Map Year Folder

If you have ideas for further promotional material, please let us know. We are also happy to showcase the material you produced for your country.

By |August 4th, 2015|0 Comments

IMY Research Collection by Taylor & Francis

In support of the International Map Year (IMY), Taylor and Francis offers free access to a collection of leading mapping and cartographic research papers.


In the spirit of exploration and navigation, all articles in this collection are categorised by region. All featured research is free to access until the end of December 2015 on

By |August 4th, 2015|0 Comments

Exhibition and Bulgarian maps at UN Headquarters, New York

The Bulgarian Cartographic Association (BCA) is proud to announce two further events on occassion of International Map Year:

Exhibition “The Sea Brings All That Is Distant Together”

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the UN in New York and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria organize and present the exhibition “The Sea Brings All that is Distance Together” from 15–26 June, 2015 at UN Headquartes, New York. The exhibition is compiled and designed by International Commercial and Cultural Center GEOPAN, Member of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association.

Exhibition catalogue | Exhibition poster

Donation of Bulgarian maps to the library of the UN

The Bulgarian Cartographic Association (BCA) donated 37 cartographic products (a collection of contemporary maps and atlases) created by Bulgarian cartographic companies to the library of the UN. The maps will be handed over at the opening of the above mentioned exhibition.

A description of the contributing companies and their cartographic products can be found here.

– Prof. Temenoujka Bandrova
President, Bulgarian Cartographic Association

By |June 9th, 2015|0 Comments

Review of IMY at the FIG Working Week, Bulgaria

FIG Working Week 2015 was held with 1.000 participants from 68 countries from 17–21 May 2015 in Sofia. The conference included an ICA session and a Cartographic Exhibition of Wall Maps – held in celebration of International Map Year.

Georg Gartner (ICA president), Temenoujka Bandrova (president of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association)

Georg Gartner (ICA president), Temenoujka Bandrova (president of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association)

In the ICA session, ICA President Prof. Georg Gartner, Past-President and Commission Chair Prof. Milan Konecny, Commission Chair Prof. Philippe de Mayer, Prof. Bashkim Irdisi and members of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association (BCA) presented their last cartographic achievements. All papers and presentations can be found on

The Cartographic Exhibition of Wall Maps at FIG Working Week

The Cartographic Exhibition of Wall Maps at FIG Working Week

One of the most popular places in the National Palace of Culture during FIG Week was the Cartographic Exhibition of Wall Maps. Many participants were delighted to see such an exhibition and congratulated ICA and the Bulgarian Cartographic Association for the organization.

IMY-bulgaria_exhibition2Four countries (Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Bulgaria) participated and were represented by the following companies and organizations:

The exhibitors received certificates for the participation and a special IMY calendar produced by the Bulgarian Cartographic Association and the Military Geographic Service.

More photos and information are available on the Facebook page of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association.

– Prof. Temenoujka Bandrova
President, Bulgarian Cartographic Association

By |May 28th, 2015|0 Comments

IMY in Croatia


Croatia is celebrating the International Map Year! The Croatian Cartographic Society is organizing a wide variety of events – from lectures, exhibitions and museum cooperations to conferences. An event list can be found here.

Contact person for IMY Croatia is Miljenko Lapaine, .

By |May 9th, 2015|0 Comments

Preparation for IMY in Sudan

The first meeting of the Sudan National Committee was held at the HQ of Sudapet Company on March 15th, 2015. Out of the eight members of the committee six were present. The meeting was chaired by Mrs Shahd Eltai.

The National IMY Committee of Sudan at their first meeting. Mrs. Shahd in the background.

The National IMY Committee of Sudan at their first meeting. Mrs. Shahd in the background.

Many activities were proposed to fulfill the objectives of the event. The activities are categorized into:

  1. Children activities will include a Sudan participation in the Barbara Petchenik map competition for children and to organize it and to handle nominations for entry to the competition. Furthermore, a simplified Sudan atlas oriented for children and other activities to be held in schools were discussed.
  2. Professional activities which will be a national map competition, a map exhibition and short lectures program.
  3. Activities for public which will be a national map day and writing about the IMY in the media (newspapers, Facebook, etc.).
  4. Networking and fund raising.
A Sudanese child prepared for taking part in IMY.

A Sudanese child prepared for taking part in IMY.

For each activity responsibilites and details were defined:

  • Map Exhibition: Dr. Eltaib Gnawa, Dr. Yahya Hassan
  • Map Day: Dr. Eltaib Gnawa, Eng. Wadidi, Shahd
  • Map Competition for Experts: Dr. Salma, Shahd
  • Children Activities (activities to be organized and held in schools by the start of the school year): Dr. Shadia, Mrs. Niema, Shahd
  • Translation of the book The World of Maps into Arabic: A team to translate the book under the supervision of Dr. Yahya
  • Short Lectures Program: The lectures will be held and organized by all the committee members , Mrs. Shahd will coordinate and spread the invitations.
  • Map Atlas for Children: Fairoz Elobied, Shahd
  • E-newsletter: Shahd
  • Press and social media: Eng. Wadidi, Eng. Ihab Sholly
  • Networking and Funding: Eng. Wadidi, Shahd

– Shahd Eltai


By |April 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

GIM on celebrating maps during International Map Year

Proceed to GIM International

Ted MacKinnon, geomatics specialist from Canada, wrote a very interesting piece about maps and why there will always be a place for traditional cartography in geomatics. He concludes:

When you consider the way and rate that geomatics technology is advancing, with drones, 3D printing and terabyte-sized data storage all becoming increasingly common, I think it is fair to say that traditional paper maps will probably never actually disappear altogether but instead they will just become one of many different ways of helping to make life easier.

The article “Celebration of Maps during International Map Year” was published in GIM International.

Proceed to the full article…

By |April 21st, 2015|0 Comments

IMY (South Africa) Launched in Cape Town

South Africa’s participation in the International Map Year has been officially approved by the Cabinet of the Government of South Africa. To commemorate this participation, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti officially launched the International Map Year (IMY) 2015–2016 for South Africa in Cape Town on 23 March 2015.

Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, receives a 1:2 million Map of South Africa from Dr. Derek Clarke, ICA Vice-President and Chair of the IMY (SA) national committee. 

Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, receives a 1:2 million Map of South Africa from Dr. Derek Clarke, ICA Vice-President and Chair of the IMY (SA) national committee.

As the launch co-incided with an ICA Executive Committee meeting in the city, South Africa was very fortunate to have the ICA Executive members present at the launch. At the launch the country’s Chief Surveyor-General, Mr Mmuso Riba, likened “a man without a map to a blind man”. South Africa’s national mapping organisation, Chief Directorate: National Geo-spatial Information, a component of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, headed by Dr. Derek Clarke, hosted the event. Dr Clarke is also an ICA Vice-President and Chair of the IMY (SA) Committee that will coordinate IMY events in South Africa during 2015 and 2016.

Mr Gugile Nkwinti (Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform) and Prof Georg Gartner (ICA President)

Mr Gugile Nkwinti (Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform) and Prof Georg Gartner (ICA President)

The first event already took place on the Friday prior to the launch. A workshop entitled “Cartography Today” was held at the offices of the Chief Directorate: National Geo-spatial Information in Cape Town. Cartographers and other GISc practitioners from all over South Africa were treated to presentations by world renowned academics, Prof. Georg Gartner (ICA President), Prof. Bill Cartwright (ICA Past President) and Prof. László Zentai (ICA Secretary-General). The speakers emphasized that despite fears that Google Maps or voluntary geographic information applications may appear to devalue the place of cartographers, there will always be the need for cartography as a visualization interface to unlock more complex geo-spatial information to end users. The value of spatial information is determined by the cartographer’s ability to communicate its meaning to decision-makers.

For further information on IMY in South Africa, please contact: Dr Derek Clarke, 

By |April 20th, 2015|0 Comments

Bulgaria joins in the IMY activities

Bulgaria set up a national committee for organizing events to celebrate the International Map Year. Temenoujka Bandrova of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association is chairing the committee.

Cover of the Bulgarian Map Year calendar

Map Year calendar featuring children map drawings as well as unique maps of old Bulgarian territories

The Bulgarian IMY activities include:

By |April 17th, 2015|0 Comments

Map Year logo on the cover of Czech maps

mapcover-brdyWe were happy to see that the Czech map publisher Geodézie On Line features the logo of the International Map Year on their map covers. It’s a great way to raise awareness for the activities in this year.

By |April 17th, 2015|0 Comments

Australia joins in the IMY celebrations

msia_logoANZMapS logo Australia is the 18th country which signed up for celebrating the International Map Year – welcome!

Their first event in the context of the Map Year is the conference The Power of Maps, organized by the The Australian & New Zealand Map Society (ANZMapS) in conjunction with the Mapping Sciences Institute, Australia (MSIA). The conference is held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra. The conference program can be found here. One of the keynote speakers is Georg Gartner, president of the ICA.

We will add more Australian Map Year events as soon as they are announced. So stay tuned…

By |March 30th, 2015|0 Comments

Template for Organizing a Map Competition

For all organizations interested in organizing a map competition in celebration of the International Map Year, we are now providing a template for getting started. IMY working group member Serena Coetzee constructed the Word template, which can be used freely.

Please make sure to let us know about your plans, so we can promote it also here on!

By |March 25th, 2015|0 Comments

Invitation to the Barbara Petchenik Competition 2015

Be Careful... by Alla Sukhanova (15), Russia

“Be Careful…” by Alla Sukhanova (15), Russia – Special jury award in 2013

The Barbara Petchenik Map Competition is an event created with the aim of promoting the creative representation of the world in graphic form by children.

In 2015, this biannual international award has a special connotation, because it is organized on the frame of activities within the International Map Year. The theme for the 2015 competition remains the same: “My place in today’s world” and the entries can be nominated in four age groups: under 6 years, 6–8 years, 9–12 years and 13–15 years. The deadline for the participation in the contest is 1 May 2015. Details can be found in the rules document.

Winner drawings selected at national level will be displayed in the International Exhibition to be held during the 27th International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 23–28 August 2015. An international jury will select the best entries by each age group. Also there will be a public vote open to all participants for a dedicated public prize.

For more detailed information about the competition, please visit the Petchenik section on the ICA website, the website of the Commission on Cartography and Children or their Facebook page.

José Jesús Reyes Nunez
Chair of the Commission on Cartography and Children

By |March 12th, 2015|0 Comments