ICA Joint Commission Conference

As with most conferences in corona times, the organisers decided to postpone this Joint Commission Conference until April 2021.

Form Wednesday 22 April to Saturday 24 April 2021 the ICA Commission on Atlases, the Joint ICA/IGU Commission on Toponymy, the National Geographic Institute (IGN) and the Spanish Society of Cartography, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (SECFT) will jointly host a symposium on atlases and toponymy im Madrid.

Thematic Focus

For centuries, atlases often were treated as nothing more than volumes of bound maps, whose main purpose was to keep precious maps together and to protect them from the wear and tear. However, besides being protective devices for contents, atlases became status symbols in the 16th century, inventories of state territories and their geography in the 17th century, scholarly geographical encyclopaedias and gazetteers in the 18th century and an iconic teaching resources from the 19th century onwards in many countries.

1899, with the publication of the Atlas of Finland marks the beginning of the era of national atlases – the more recent publication oft he Atlas d’Espagne by the Instituto Geográfico Nacional is a remarkable example for this important genre. Atlases, perhaps started as gazetters by the Greeks, help significantly to answer the question „What is where“, but have to heavily rely on implicit naming of „what“ they show.

Toponymy helps tackle this issue and can help us also understand the symbolic power of place names, especially their role in space-related identity construction that reflects historic and recent power relations between dominant and non-dominant groups. Thus place names, their specification and selection are important and scientifically indicative ingredients of maps and, intrinsically, atlases.

Against this brief but very complex history, exploration in atlases and gazetteers touches on many, though diverse topics in cartographic research.

Conference fees

You can attend the Conference free of fees. Conference catering aswell as excursions are fully supplied by the IGN and SECFT (thank you!!).