The International Cartographic Association (ICA), a non-governmental organisation, was founded in 1959 and is the world scientific body for cartography. It has in excess of 80 member nations and some 15 affiliate members. Every two years the international conference provides the most up-to-date view of world cartography and its developments.
More than 250 cartographic experts from across the world are members of the ICA's 15 Commissions and Working Groups. These are concerned with the initiation and coordination of relevant research involving cooperation between different nations, the exchange of ideas and documents, the furtherance of education and training, and the encouragement of the spreading of cartographic knowledge through the generation of relevant publications.
A principal aim of the ICA is the study of cartographic problems. In particular it is concerned with the processing of source materials, and the design, construction and reproduction techniques used to produce maps, and associated forms of graphic communications, by either manual or computerised means. To this end it cooperates with different branches of geodetic, geographic and other scientific research.
The ICA is a network across which much information circulates. Communications media have an important role, and developments in electronics and computer technology have made cartographic information exchange (in a variety of forms) easier, more direct, faster and accessible to an ever growing audience.
ICA titles in print reflect the state of professional cartography from an international perspective, and provide information on the application of new and developing technologies. Definitive volumes relate to different types of published mapping (topographic, thematic and oceanographic) at a variety of scales and intended for diverse uses. Relevant applications of remotely sensed imagery and information technology during map generation are discussed, as are the international needs for the implementation of spatial database transfer standards, together with clearly set-out and potentially applicable policies for the future.
The team of authors responsible for the preparation of volumes in the series are all acknowledged experts in specialist areas of mapping science. They have freely contributed their time and efforts to the ICA in order to provide members of the global community with information pertaining to best practices in cartography.