ICHC 2013

The 25th International Conference on the History of Cartography

30 June – 5 July, 2013
Helsinki, Finland

ICHC, the International Conference on the History of Cartography, is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the history of maps and map making. It promotes global cooperation among cartographic scholars from any academic discipline, map curators, collectors, dealers and institutions. Conferences are held biennially and are administrated by local organizers in conjunction with Imago Mundi Ltd. Each conference is sponsored by leading educational and cultural institutions.

The academic programme is comprised of paper and poster presentations, special sessions and exhibitions. The social programme includes receptions, a farewell dinner, and tours for accompanying persons. A post-conference tour is organized to a location of interest as to the themes of the conference. This time it will be directed at one of the station points of the Struve Geodetic Arc in the unique landscape of Middle Finland.

T h e F o u r E l e m e n t s – the Essentials of the History of Cartography

The 25th International Conference on the History of Cartography is organized under the heading “The Four Elements”. Inspiration was derived from the antique symbolism found in many old maps. The four elements in classical antiquity were believed to reflect the building blocks from which the universe was constructed. As the main theme, Earth, Air, Fire and Water symbolize the essential elements in the history of cartography and the importance of cartography in the representation of nature and our understanding of the world.

Earth brings together measuring and mapping of lands and urban areas as well as routes, including travel maps of all ages. One of the sub-themes discusses coordinate systems and projections since Ptolemy. The sub-themes are:

  • Urban mapping
  • Land surveying and land survey maps
  • National mapping and national atlases
  • Maps for travel, traffic, and communication networks
  • Grids, coordinates, and projections

Air emphasizes the theoretical and conceptual aspects of cartography. It also deals with thematic mapping and aesthetic questions. The sub-themes are:

  • Theoretical and conceptual approaches to the histories of mapmaking
  • Thematic mapping, map symbols and representation
  • Toponymy
  • Aesthetics in cartography
  • Celestial mapping

Fire represents the themes of war, religion and mythical elements. One sub-theme invites researchers to discuss the “fire” and enthusiasm of collectors. The sub-themes are:

  • War maps and fortresses
  • Religion in cartography
  • Mythical and imaginary places in maps
  • Map collecting and prominent collections
  • Marketing, distribution and use of maps

Water covers over 70 per cent of the Earth’s area, and oceanic routes to unknown lands and continents have been searched and mapped by all cultures. Water deals with the mapping of water systems and waterways of all forms, ranging from large scale maps of lakes, rivers, channels, rapids and inland waterways to regional and global levels. The sub-themes are:

  • Mapping of inland waters
  • Coastal maps and charts
  • Mapping of seas and oceans
  • World maps and atlases

The additional sub-theme is:

  • Any other aspects of the history of cartography



One Response to Conference

  1. Pingback: The 25th International Conference on the History of Cartography « Crónicas Cartográficas: Historia Urbana y Cartografía

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