The Bay Area of Tokyo, Japan, hosted the 29th biannual International Cartographic Conference (ICC) and the General Assembly of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) from 15-20 July this year. Sessions were held at two venues: Miraikan (the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) and Plaza Heisei (the Tokyo International Exchange Center). A nearby additional venue, the Telekom Center, hosted exhibitions and the Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Center was the venue for the meeting of Japanese cartographers. Japan had last hosted the ICC in 1980, also in Tokyo.
The slogan of the recent conference was ‘Mapping Everything for Everyone’. Around 950 participants from 75 countries took part in the conference, and 750 presentations were organized across 150 sessions. The International Cartographic Exhibition presented 385 maps and related objects from 30 countries. The Barbara Petchenik International Children’s Map Competition exhibited 188 maps from 33 countries.
The Imperial Highness Crown Prince and Princess Akishino attended the opening ceremony, during which the Imperial Highness Crown Prince welcomed the conference delegates. They also inspected a special collection of the cartographic and children’s map exhibition. Later on in the week, Princess Akishino paid a private visit to one of the conference’s social events: the orienteering event.
The conference featured the following keynote speakers:
- Venkatesh Raghavan (professor of geoinformatics, Osaka City University, Japan): ‘Beyond the Jargon: FOSS4G, OSGeo, Geo4All and ME4E’
- Steve Coast (vice president of TomTom): ‘The Past, Present, and Future of OpenStreetMap’
- Ayako Kagawa (geographic information officer, Chief Cartographic Unit, Geospatial Information Section, Office of Information and Communications Technology, United Nations): ‘The Role of Cartographers in a Sustainable Development World’
- Eric Gundersen (Mapbox CEO): ‘Building a Living Map of the World Updated from Billions of Sensors’
The General Assembly elected the new Executive Committee of the ICA. The new president is Tim Trainor (USA) and the new secretary-general is Thomas Schulz (Switzerland). The following nominees have become the additional members of the ICA Executive Committee: Andrés Arístegui (Spain), Temenoujka Bandrova (Bulgaria), Philippe De Maeyer (Belgium), Liqiu Meng (Germany), Terje Midtbø (Norway), Vít Voženílek (Czech Republic) and László Zentai (Hungary). Menno-Jan Kraak becomes a member of the Executive Committee as past-president. ICA’s new Strategic Plan was also discussed and accepted by the General Assembly. Furthermore, the General Assembly voted on the ICC 2023 venue, and Cape Town (South Africa) was chosen to host the event.
The next ICC will be held in Florence (Italy) in 2021.
The book titled Mapping for a Sustainable World, which will be a co-publication of the ICA and the United Nations Geospatial Information Section, will be published this summer – both as a hard-copy version and as an e-book. These cartographic visualizations support decision-making by local and national authorities as well as promoting public awareness of global issues to encourage these authorities to act.