The International Map Year (IMY) is a worldwide celebration of maps and their unique role in our world. Supported by the United Nations, IMY provides opportunities to demonstrate, follow, and get involved in the art, science and technology of making and using maps and geographic information.
The purposes of the International Map Year are …
• making maps visible to citizens and school children in a global context,
• demonstrating how maps and atlases can be used in society,
• showing how information technology can be used in getting geographic information and producing one’s own maps,
• displaying different types of maps and map production,
• showing the technical development of mapping and atlas production,
• showing the necessity of a sustainable development of geographic information infrastructures,
• increasing the recruitment of students to cartography and cartography-related disciplines.
The International Map Year shall become a trademark for mapping. It shall also boost the identity of the ICA to highlight its mission in an international context. It is also an opportunity to give ICA affiliate members a possibility to advertise their services in mapping. Hopefully, IMY will make maps and its implications on our lives more obvious to the society.
International Map Year will be officially opened at the ICA conference in Rio de Janeiro in August, 2015 and then continue until December 2016.
Scheduled within Geography Awareness Week, the US national committee has organized a National Map Day on November 16 with invitations to users from different fields such as agriculture, forestry, physical planning, housing, and natural resources. The main theme for such a day should be to discuss the educational value of maps in helping to teach students and adults about their cultural and physical environments. Local map days will involve municipalities, universities and schools, museums, archives and libraries. The national committee will support them with recent and historical maps from the national mapping organizations.
A ‘map day’ program may consist of the following parts:
For instance, In Washington, DC, we will be celebrating Map Day on November 16 at the US Department of Education with poster displays of map winners from the CaGIS Map Design Competition, as well as exhibiting children's maps that were submitted from the US to the Barbara Petchenik Competition held in Rio de Janeiro at the ICA. In addition, we will have a panel discussion that day at the Education Department building regarding the value and power of maps for geographically educating the public.