A map is a symbolised representation of geographical reality, representing selected features or characteristics, resulting from the creative effort of its author’s execution of choices, and is designed for use when spatial relationships are of primary relevance.
Cartography is the discipline dealing with the art, science and technology of making and using maps.
According to the International Cartographic Association, there are many cartograpahic applications and these include:
- Indoor mapping and navigation
- energy mapping from space
- maps reviewing the world’s wilderness
- polar vortex from NASA’s heat mapping satellite
So what is the use of cartography and mapping? Too many applications some would say.
Examples of how cartography contributes to the world:
- saving lives in Zanzibar through drone pilots
- illustration of how climate change can transform your city
- maps that protect fishing villages around Chennai
- discovering at least 50 ancient Irish monuments using Googlemaps
One of the things about mapping and space applications and it is often overlooked and not noticed. However, when we apply it to practice, we can see the many beneficial ways in which we could use for scientific research, development and improving society and our daily lives.
Perhaps ideally, space application would have that kind of an impact where we would use it, without really realising it has anything to do with space.
The aim of ICA is to ensure that cartography and GIScience are employed to maximum effect and full potential for the benefit of society and science through promotion and representation of the disciplines and professions of cartography and GIScience internationally.
Their objectives are extensive and their targets include:
- to contribute to the understanding and solution of world problems through the use of Cartography and GI science in decision-making processes.
- to foster the national and international use of geospatially referenced environmental, economic and social information.
- to encourage introduction of a focused geospatial basis for national and international statistical information.
- to provide global fora for discussion of Cartography and GI science.
- to participate in meetings, dissemination and publication in concert with sister societies and international organizations including the UN, sharing its vision with these organisations.
- to facilitate the transfer of new Cartographic and GI knowledge between and within nations, especially to developing nations, and to undertake Capacity Building, notably for communities in need.
- to perform or to promote multi-national Cartographic and GI research, including collaborative and trans-disciplinary research, in order to solve scientific and applied problems.
- to maintain a contemporary Research Agenda which is recognized as a leading and authoritative document addressing humankind.
- to enhance education in Cartography and GI science in the broadest sense through publications, seminars, conferences, competitions and exhibitions.
- to develop and promote the use of professional and technical standards, guidelines and applications of theory in Cartography and GI science.
- to demonstrate the utility of Cartography and GI science to all professions.
- to offer its expertise and knowledge of technical developments to other organisations e.g. governments, statistical bodies, GI management organisations etc.
- to support map-related research in specific topics such as child education, history, theory, and assistance for the visually-impaired.
- to maintain a repository of knowledge disseminated through the work of Commissions and Working Groups, Conferences, Workshops, publications and the Research Agenda.
What do you think are the opportunities for mapping and space applications?
What do you think makes a successful Newspace startup?
How can we develop the NewSpace ecosystem?
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