Kraak new president of international Cartographic Association (ICA)

Prof.dr. Menno-Jan Kraak has been appointed as president of the International Cartographic Association (ICA), the international professional body for cartography. Kraak, who is professor in Geovisual Analytics and Cartography at the ITC Faculty of the University of Twente, will lead the international network organization for the next four yours. Approximately 70 countries from all over the globe are member of the ICA.


The ICA promotes the cartographic discipline in a variety of ways. They coordinate the international research agenda in the field, where 27 different committees work on a diversity of subtopics and dilemma’s. They organize activities that contribute to the development of the discipline.


A great challenge is waiting, says Kraak, who has been one of the seven vice-presidents of the ICA during the last eight years. Kraak: “It is a privilege to serve the ICA as president for the next four years in our dynamic world where maps play an important role as interface to geo-related information to support decision making in many different situations.” The organization is part of a vibrant community: last month in Rio de Janeiro, the International Map Year was launched. The theme year should give the professional field another boost.

International orientation

The presidency of the ICA fits in well for Kraak with the international orientation of the field of study and the activities at ITC. The ICA is in the core of a comprehensive network, in which rarely anything happens without the involvement of the organization. Remarkably, a lot of ITC-alumni are active within the community: one of them is Yaolin Liu from China, who is one of the vice-presidents at ICA. Liu received his PhD at ITC in 2002.

The ICA has a close collaboration with the United Nations, where Kraak currently leads a group that translates best practices in cartography into opportunities for the new sustainability goals of the United Nations. Their work forms valuable input for the Global Geographic Information Management-committee of the UN.

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