Mapping Leaders Forum 2024 — Denver, Colorado USA

IMIA members and colleagues gathered in Denver, Colorado on June 5-6 for our annual Mapping Leaders Forum. On the day before the forum, the US Geological Survey hosted a field trip to their offices at the Denver Federal Center. The attendees visited the Core Research Center and Ice Core Facility. USGS staff toured our group through the massive warehouse of rock core samples and into the “Ice Rooms” where Antarctic ice cores are stored and analyzed.

The theme of the two-day conference “Building Trust in Mapping” was led by keynote speaker Georg Gartner, President of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and professor at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. Gartner’s expertise and visionary perspectives set the tone for the forum, inspiring attendees with a focus on building trust across the global mapping community.

On day one of the forum at the Wright Room downtown, educational presentations focused on mapping assets, innovative data collection, effective marketing strategies, authoritative data, and cyber security management. A highlight of the day was the presentation of the Clark Swinehart Leadership Award to Dave Knipfer of Mapping Specialists, a career-long supporter and past president of IMIA Americas and IMIA International.

Keeping with the IMIA mission to “connect the business of maps worldwide,” the day featured networking sessions and an evening cocktail reception that allowed every company to meet and learn from one another. We thank Dennis Maps and East View Companies for their generous sponsorships.

Day two of the 2024 forum was held at the iconic Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. Hosted by premier sponsor Esri, the final day of the forum began with a focus on Mapping with Modern GIS by Aileen Buckley and Mark Cygan.

After a remarkable lunch on the back terrace, sponsored by National Geographic Maps, Georg Gartner underscored our theme leading into a collaborative Trust Workshop. In this lively session, groups held roundtable discussions to establish key factors and priorities related to four industry categories determined by IMIA: Brand, Data, Partnerships, and Products.

The memorable evening reception at the Trading Post Backyard was sponsored by Mapping Specialists and Avenza Systems. For those lucky enough to stay a bit longer, this year’s event closed out with a sold-out concert by Brit Floyd, the internationally renowned tribute band to Pink Floyd.

Congratulations to our 2024 award recipient!

The 2024 Clark Swinehart Leadership Award was presented to Dave Knipfer of Mapping Specialists in Madison, Wisconsin USA. This award was first presented posthumously to Clark’s family in 2022, in recognition of his years of outstanding leadership and support of IMTA & IMIA. Clark & Dave were friends and shared a dedication to the organization over the years that few have matched.

Dave began his career at Mapping Specialists as a new graduate and cartographer in 1986. By 2006 he was the president and became owner in January of 2009. Before our association’s restructuring to a global organization, Dave served as president of our Americas division in 2012-2013 and our International president in 2013-2014. He recently served again as secretary and chair of the sponsorship committee during his final year on the board of directors.

We thank Dave for his continued engagement and leadership as we look to a bright future for the global map industry.

Member News

Avenza 2024 User Conference Recap

The Avenza User Conference is a free virtual conference for cartographers, GIS enthusiasts, and geospatial professionals worldwide who share a common interest in Avenza mapping technology. Avenza users and staffers from around the globe meet virtually each May to learn what’s new with Avenza Maps, MAPublisher, Geographic Imager, and the Avenza Map Store and see how they are being used to map our world. It is an excellent opportunity to discover exciting new developments with Avenza’s GIS and cartographic solutions and to connect with peers and Avenza team members.

The conference offers virtual sessions from presenters who will share their experiences using Avenza mapping products in their projects, mapping tips and tricks, product development updates from the Avenza team, and remarks from Ted Florence, Avenza President.

Avenza UC is an exciting opportunity to get inspired by mapping and industry professionals, connect with peers to learn what others are doing, learn about the latest Avenza solutions from our expert staff, and discover new mapping techniques and workflows to help with challenging problems.

We’re excited to share the results from our recent User Conference 2024, which was a huge success! This year, once again, has been the most well-attended UC yet! If you haven’t been able to watch the videos from this year’s conference, please take some time to check them out.

Stanfords Map of the Month

Normandy D-Day – 6 June 1944 IGN Map 87044

Commemorative map from the IGN for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on 6th June 1944, presenting in three large panels various grouping of the Allied Armies and the defending German forces, the changes in the front lines between 6th June and 18th August, and present day commemorative sites and monuments, plus additional bilingual notes.


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Upcoming Events

Map Industry Summit: Toronto

August 22, 2024 | Toronto, Ontario CA

Frankfurt Book Fair

October 16-20, 2024 | Frankfurt, DE

Upcoming Industry Events

Esri User Conference
July 15-19, 2024
San Diego, California USA


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September 9-11, 2024
Vienna, Austria


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NACIS 2024
October 15-19, 2024
Tacoma, Washington USA


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