Use and User Issues in Cartography and Geo-information Processing and Dissemination

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Website of the Commission on Use, User, and Usability Issues of the International Cartographic Association (ICA)

Upcoming Events

  • Special sessions on Cognition, Visualization, and User Issues are organised at the AAG, which takes place from March 29 - April 2 2016 in San Francisco, USA. These sessions are a collaboration between the ICA Commission on Cognitive Visualization, ICA Commission on Visual Analytics and the ICA Commission on Use, User, and Usability Issues.
  • We plan to continue with our series training workshops on 'Conducting and Designing User Studies'. The next stop is in Albena, Bulgaria during the International Conference on Cartography and GIS. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, June 15 2016 (!change in date!). The topics for the four modules have been fixed now, the complete programme can be found in this invitation.
  • Three ICA Commissions (History of Cartography; Map Production & Geoinformation Management; Use, User & Usability Issues) and the Institute of Social Sciences “Ivo Pilar” (Zagreb, Croatia) invite the submission of abstracts for papers and posters for a joint conference in Dubrovnik (Croatia), the medieval port city on the coast of the Adriatic and UNESCO World Heritage Site: 6th International Symposium on the History of Cartography The Dissemination of Cartographic Knowledge:Production – Trade – Consumption – Preservation. Location: Dubrovnik (Croatia). Date: October 13-14, 2016. The Call for Papers can be found as from mid November 2015 at the conference website, including information on registration, programme, transportation and accommodation. The first Call for Papers can be found here. This is a unique collaboration which gives the opportunity to focus on the usability of historical cartographic products and the methods/techniques that were used to produce them. If you have an interest in this or related topics, you can submit your abstract until the 15th of February 2016.


  • The commission's next 4-year term has started! You might have noticed the slight change in the name of the commission, adding a third ‘U’ (Usability) to reflect the increasing importance of user research on interactive, online, and mobile maps. This change in name comes along with the new 4-year term of this commission, which was approved by the General Assembly of the ICA on Friday the 28th of August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Of course, now it is time to look at the future as the new core team is eager to extend the success story of this commission! This is a young core team who will look at the commissions’ needs with fresh eyes: Kristien Ooms (Belgium), Robert Roth (USA), Artemis Skarlatidou (UK), and Alena Vondrákoá (Czech Republic). We are pleased to present our new Terms of Reference outlining our goals for the next four years: see here
  • The Department of Geoinformatics at Palacky University in Olomouc (Czech Republic) opens three 2-year positions for Postdoctoral Research Associate. See Vacancies and PhD positions for more information!
  • We would like to draw your attention to the first announcement for the 12th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2015 October 12-16, 2015, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. See also:
  • IMPORTANT: the ICA Research Scholarships, a new initiative of the ICA  to support young scientists were recently announced. The goal of these grants is to stimulate young scientists to direct their careers toward fundamental studies in the fields of Cartography and GISciences. Applicants are responsible for choosing a mentor for their research from an ICA Commission. Interested??? Take a look at  the President's Blog.
  • The commission organised a meeting at the CARTOCON 2014 Conference, which took place from 25 - 28 February 2014 in Olomouc (Czech Republic). The conference aims was to bring together cartographers from across different areas of cartography...which turned out to be a great succes!
  • Together with the ICA Commissions on Cognitive Visualization and Geovisualization, the Commission organized a very successfull pre-ICC2013 Workshop on Working with Eye-Tracking on 23 & 24 August 2013 in Dresden, Germany. The programme consisted out of a mixture of presentations regarding applications, case studies, data analysis, data interpretation and cognition and demonstrations of eye-­‐tracking equipment from different manufacturers.
  • The ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) is the most prestiguous conference in the field of general human-computer interaction. CHI 2013 was held in Paris from 27 April to 2 May. See: In line with our Terms of Reference (the “outreach chapter”), the Commission supported the organization of a Workshop on Geographic Human-Computer Interaction that was held on 27 - 28 April 2013 (also in Paris and in conjunction with CHI2013). You can find the proceedings here.
  • On 16 September 2012 (the day before the start of AutoCarto2012) the Commission ran a successful Workshop on Designing and Conducting User Studies together with the ICA Commission on Cognitive Visualization in Columbus, Ohio, USA. The programme and slides of this workshop can be found in the 'News and events' page.
  • The most relevant textbook (up to the present) for this Commission's domain is Interacting with Geospatial Technologies (ed. by Muki Haklay). It appeared in 2010 and details can be found in the Bibliography.

International Map Year 2015 - 2016

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. More information can be found in the website of the International Map Year.

On the 16th of April, Belgium is organising a national Mapathon in the context of the missing maps project. During a mapathon, data (houses, roads, etc.) is mapped collectively in OpenStreetMap. With this initiative, we try to support humanitarian organisations in the field by providing them maps of the areas in which they operate. There is almost no effort related to organising such a mapathon which fits perfectly in the context of the IMY. The only thing you need is a PC and an internet connection. If you are interested in organising one yourself, please let me know!

Pre-ICC2015 Workshops (20-21 August) in Curritiba, Brazil

The pre-ICC2015 workshops were co-organized at the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil. 

Two different workshops were organised, each lasting one day. Both workshops were attended by about 35 participants. We especially would like to thank our local organisers for their excellent work !

  • Workshop number one was meant for researchers and students who want to know more about “How to design and conduct user studies”. This workshop was organized together with the ICA Commission on Cognitive Visualization.  The detailed program and slides can be found here.


  • The central theme of workshop number two is “Envisioning the future of cartographic research”. It was organized together with the ICA Commissions on Cognitive Visualization, Map Design and on Geovisualization. So, it is this part of the research agenda (in relation with use and user issues) we focussed on with many interested researchers and future researchers (students). This second workshop did not follow the traditional format of presentations and questions but was based on an active participation of all present. For more information, please have a look here


CARTOCON 2014- Olomouc, Czech Republic

The commission organised a meeting at the CARTOCON 2014 Conference, which  took place from 25 - 28 February 2014 in Olomouc (Czech Republic).The conference aimed to bring together cartographers from across different areas of cartography, which turned out to be a great succes:

  • Maps and Atlases Production
  • Use and Users Issues
  • Cognition and Visualization Issues
  • Cartography and Statistics

Our Vice-Chairs David Forrest and Alexander Pucher were invited as keynote speakers.