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IMIA Report January 2014

Connecting the Business of Maps Worldwide
     Industry News, Profiles and Future Events                               MARCH 2014
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Ronald Lofton
IMIA Membership:


I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you how honored I am to be the President of the International Mapping Industry Association (IMIA). During my past involvement with the Association, I have made many new friends and business acquaintances throughout the world. This is about “The Business of Maps”, every type, every place, and I look forward to this year as an opportunity to enhance the value of your IMIA membership.


A lot of exciting changes are already taking place! We are in the process of redesigning the website; revising the newsletter format; and updating the IMIA global brochure. The website design should be completed by early April and will provide a new dynamic look and feel in promoting our members around the world. The newsletter will provide a broad range of articles and features on new developments, trends and member news. Our brochure will promote all facets of the mapping industry and encourage international membership. IMIA’s goal is to play an active role in helping members achieve their business and professional goals.


The upcoming events and regional conferences always provide an excellent opportunity to network and find new business opportunities. Some of these are:  the London Book Fair; EAME’s joint conference with the British Cartographic Society (BCS) in Winchester, Hampshire UK; the Asia Pacific Conference in Melbourne, Australia; and, the America’s Conference in Denver, Colorado. This year’s EAME conference with the new joint format with the BCS should provide a unique venue for networking.


Finally, I want to extend my appreciation to Mr. Sandy Hill, Mrs. Linda Hill, Ms. Noleen Zander, and Mr. Howard Hudson for all of their work in supporting the international and regional efforts. I would also like to personally thank Past President, Mr. Peter Lennon, for his leadership and commitment to the Association. Peter’s efforts reaffirmed our commitment to the international focus of IMIA and the need to have strong regional successes as well. In closing, I wish each of you a successful year and I look forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming conferences.




Ron Lofton


Ronald Lofton

IMIA International President

Chief of Staff, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center 

U.S. Geological Survey


 IMIA International Board of Directors

President Ronald Lofton 

U.S. Geological Survey

PO Box 25286, MS 510

Denver, CO, 80225 USA   

Tel:      303/202-4115

FAX:    303/202-4020

Director David Knipfer

Mapping Specialists, Ltd.

3000 Cahill Main, Suite 220

Fitchburg, WI, 53713 USA 

Tel:      608/274-4004

FAX:    608/274-9689


Director Bruce McGurty

Explore Australia Publishing P/L
Ground Level Building 1

658 Church Street

Richmond, Victoria 3121 Australia
Tel:      61 3 8520 6444

FAX:    61 3 8520 6422


Director Hans Niemeyer

Ladestrasse 16, Hoisdorf

Schleswig-Holstein, 22955 Germany
Tel:      004941075676

FAX:    004941074058


Director Andreas Pachler

Stellanova Verlag 
Karwendelstr. 7

Aufkirchen/Berg, D-82335 Germany
Tel:     49-81 51-5 55 15-60

FAX:   49-81 51-5 55 15-66


Director Brian Spier

PO Box 1694

Queensland, Runaway Bay 4216 Australia
Tel:      61 (0) 408715782

FAX:    61 7 5537 8867


Director David Watkins

380 New York Street

Redlands, CA 92373 USA
Tel:      909/793-2853

FAX:    909/793-5953


Queensland Globe Roadshow: Coming to a Training Room Near You!



On behalf of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, GIS People is delivering introductory hands-on training for Queensland Globe to Government staff across Queensland. Locations confirmed for the roadshow so far include Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Mackay, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, and Townsville.


For information on course content, location and dates, visit the Queensland Globe Training website:


The half-day workshop is aimed primarily at non-GIS and non-technical staff within both Local and State Government, who wish to learn about Queensland Globe and how it can benefit their department. The workshop is hands-on – computers provided – and delivered by highly experienced trainers.


Based in Google Earth, Queensland Globe is part of the Government’s Open Data Initiative and gives both Government staff, the public and GIS professionals a fantastic tool to visualise spatial data from across Queensland. Data includes boundaries, land parcels, schools, wildlife, habitats, geology, floods, transport routes and much more.


Bookings can be made by visiting The workshop costs $250 + GST per person, with a training pack and morning or afternoon tea included. Questions? Contact Training Coordinator Rachelle Broad at:; 0449 514 495.


Interview with Juan José Valdés, Director of Editorial and Research for Maps and Chief Geographer for National Geographic



We’re Not in Cape Verde Anymore…


The country, made up of ten islands about 350 miles (570 kilometers) off the coast of western Africa, is getting an identity makeover and reverting back to its original Portuguese name: the Republic of Cabo Verde, or República de Cabo Verde, the UN announced on October 24. Portuguese explorers came upon the peninsula now called Cap-Vert, the westernmost peninsula in Africa and a Sengalese port, in 1444; they christened it Cabo Verde, which means “green cape.” They then used the same name for the islands to the west, which became the country of Cabo Verde.


Centuries ago, the country anglicized its name to Cape Verde. This got us wondering: How are maps changed? We talked to National Geographic’s director of editorial and research for maps and chief geographer, Juan José Valdés and learned
five things you should know about the shifting world of maps.


1. Who’s in charge of maps, anyway?

There isn’t really an international agency of mapmaking. “When mapping the world, cartographers are faced with one of two options: to map de jure [by law] or de facto [in reality],” Valdés said. “Because of differences in national mapping policies, to date there does not exist an international governing body that sets such map standards.” This means that each cartographic organization is in charge of creating maps that are as factually accurate as possible. For National Geographic, the policy is to follow the de facto approach and create maps mirroring reality rather than politics. Which leads us to our next fact.


2. Cartographers map reality.

When asked how many times a year his department alters maps, Valdés laughed. “Oof!” he exclaimed. “It’s hard to say. We make changes as they happen.” Maps are a snapshot in time, according to Valdés. “We map reality, what’s currently existing on the ground,” he said. If anything changes-whether it be borders of a country or a shrinking coastline or the addition of cities and states-maps become instantly outdated. “We make changes as they happen,” Valdés said. That means maps are current only as of their publishing. “Something is always happening,” he said, whether it be elevations or minute boundary delineations.


Valdés added: “Assume nothing. The world is constantly changing.” Case in point: The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan made some towns around the Fukushima nuclear plant ghost towns. With no population in these cities for the time being, should they be marked? “Large-format maps of Japan will portray the towns,” Valdés said. “They will be identified with an open town spot accompanied by a general map note addressing [their] current status.”


3. Map changes aren’t as simple as deleting old borders and names.

Changing official maps isn’t as easy as altering a border or retyping the name of a country, Valdés said. Changing a country’s name, for instance, can be done immediately online and will show up on the next printing of the official map, he said. But some changes require more work, particularly for places like disputed borders or bodies of water claimed by multiple entities.


“If it’s a change with a sensitive area, then we have to do extensive research,” Valdés said. “What is the national government policy [on the area’s cartography]? Who’s administering [the area]? “We contact experts and the country for views and opinions. And then we go through a map policy committee” at National Geographic that examines the area in question and determines whether (and if so, how) a change should be made.


4. Naming a place is tricky.

Valdés notes that politics also comes into play in rerouting a line or renaming a place like Cabo Verde. What about different versions, when one group might find one preferential but another might find it insulting? In the case of Mumbai, which is the regional name for the city that was called Bombay as a vestige of British colonialism, National Geographic style is to use both: Mumbai (Bombay).


Or what about historical names that have since been changed to modern and / or local names? Maps show Constantinople’s change to Istanbul and Saigon’s new identity as Ho Chi Minh City. Consider also the case of places that are recognized by some governments and not recognized by others. The classic example is the Palestinian territories: Placing the Palestinian territories on a map angers some groups; not identifying the Palestinian territories as a state angers others. “It’s not always easily done,” Valdés said.


5. Being a cartographer means also being a detective.

You might think the chief geographer at National Geographic stares at maps all day, but much of his job involves tracking the news. Not every map change is a publicized event, and even if it is, it may remain highly localized, which means Valdés spends much of his time “sleuthing” for the latest news in cartography.


“Had it not been for a two-paragraph article in an obscure Spanish news site in the fall of 2010, we would not have been aware of the creation of two new Cuban provinces on New Year’s Day in 2011,” Valdés recalled. Cabo Verde’s name change, however, was well publicized and has given Valdés plenty of time to update the Society’s official atlases. “We’ve just started updating our maps,” Valdés said. “The very first one cleared five minutes ago.”


By Tanya Basu
December 2013

National Geographic



AppsNRanks is Now NextByte Technologies


AppsNRanks started operations in May 2012, has been renamed as NextByte Technologies. The company provides mobile app and web development services. NextByte Technologies’ USP is implementation of technologies clubbed with an understanding of travel and map publishing industry. This unique positioning has helped the company in successful implementations and accolades from clients in Europe, Middle East and Australia. Our web address is


The company provides mobile development by converting publisher’s existing raster and vector map data into interactive mobile apps, opening a new market segment of digital product sales of their content. It offers different solution packages for travel and reference atlas apps as well as custom app development for cross platform mobile apps.


The web services team at NextByte Technologies specializes in refurbishing existing website including ecommerce websites running with old frameworks. The refurbishing includes restructuring, database cleaning, redesigning, URL redirections and implementation of contemporary ecommerce platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify etc. With the process of refurbishing, SEO and online marketing best practices are embedded in the redesigned website. The company also offers dedicated resources to run online marketing services on an ongoing basis.


NextByte Technologies is also implementing an Enterprise mobile app for complete airport services automation for a major international airport. The project is being developed in hybrid environment and the app works for all mobile platforms. Some IMIA members have also worked with the company in recent past, namely EarthInSite AUS, Stellanova GER and Carto Graphics AUS. 


NextByte Technologies is headquartered in New Delhi. Its CEO, Mani Singh has worked in mapping, web and software development businesses for past 20 years. He was also the co-founder of, a crowd sourced application for finding campgrounds in Australia and the U.S. He has recently invested out of this business to focus on the software business of NextByte Technologies. 


Spatial Vision Releases iOS App of its Popular Bogong Outdoor Recreation Guide


Spatial Vision’s popular Bogong Alpine Area Outdoor Recreation Guide is now available in a convenient iOS application for iPhones. The application features all of the physical guide’s high quality topographical mapping and walking track information, as well as a number of features that are sure to help anyone planning a walk around the breathtaking region.


The centrepiece of the application is of course, the high fidelity topographic map of the Bogong Alpine region, which includes the Bogong High Plains, the town and slopes of Falls Creek, the town of Bright, Tawonga’s southern tip and more than 10 state forests.


While the map is laid out clearly enough to be immediately readable whether you’re looking at the whole region or a single hill, on iPhones with Retina Displays, its great detail really stands out from more general purpose maps, such as those offered by Google or Apple.


As you zoom into the map, icons appear above points of interest, from lookouts and places to park to ski lifts, horse yards and accommodation. Tapping one of these icons will take you to a page with a short description of the point, a photo and links to its official website as well as email and phone buttons where appropriate.


These pages highlight important information about the point of interest, such as it requiring a booking that it is closed during winter or in one case that the hut is in ruins. In addition to showing the distance of overall walking tracks, the map also displays in big pink numbers the distances between each point of interest, allowing you to effectively plan out where you can be and when.


The walks themselves are divided into the standard three difficulties and can be found either on the map itself or through the guide section of the application, which lists the numerous walks around Bogong. In the guide you can find how long a walk will take, what you’re likely to see and directions to help you stay on track.


In addition, the guide has detailed information to help you plan your trip, providing information on when it’s best to go, how to stay safe and how not to damage the local ecosystem as you hike through. The guide isn’t just for hikers though, with sections about mountain biking, horse riding, car and 4WD touring, fishing and skiing.


As well as simply plotting your location on the map, the app will also use your device’s GPS to determine your latitude and longitude, your heading in degrees as well current speed, particularly useful in conjunction with the maps many distance measurements to figure out if you’re going to make it to the campsite before dark.


The Bogong Alpine Area is the third of Spatial Vision’s popular Outdoor Recreation Guides to be converted into an application and the most detailed.


While the applications make a lighter alternative to Spatial Vision’s physical maps, they work fantastically in conjunction with the paper copy because as any bushwalker will tell you, a backup map is always handy, especially when one of your copies runs on batteries.


One thing to note about these maps are that parts of the Bogong area were recently burnt in the state’s 2013 bushfires and thus it is advisable to check the Parks Victoria website for up to date information about the status of some of the area’s roads and walking tracks, which may have sustained damage or significant regrowth.


The Bogong Alpine Region Outdoor Recreation Guide is available on iPhones and iPod Touches running iOS 6 or later and costs $9.49. For more information contact Spatial Vision on (03) 9691 3000 or see


Laura Zahariou

Marketing & Communications Officer

03 9691 3058


Craig Molyneux

Senior Cartographer

03 9691 3042


Russia Redraws Its Maps to Include Crimea  

Russia on Monday redrew its official maps to include Crimea after annexing the peninsula, even though the move has not been internationally recognized. Maps on the Kremlin and government websites include Crimea, describing it as the “youngest region of Russia.” Russia’s absorption of Crimea has drawn international condemnation and sparked the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.


Russian troops have seized Ukrainian military bases on the mostly Russian-speaking region of two million people since a March 16 independence referendum. Several of Russia’s most popular websites including the main search engine,, have also changed their maps. But on a parallel site for Ukrainian users,, it continued to show Crimea as part of Ukraine.


Yandex, which is based in Moscow, wrote on its official blog last week that “maps will be different for different countries. That is Crimea will be shown according to the official position of each country.” Yandex said it would also change the way it presented news, with stories about Crimea being classed as domestic news for readers based in Russia. The Russian language version of Google shows Crimea with a dashed border line, used for “disputed” boundaries.


Russia’s biggest Internet company,, was one of the first sites to change Crimea to part of Russia on March 21, the day that President Vladimir Putin signed the agreement absorbing the peninsula. Russia’s television channels have for several days included Crimean towns in their national weather broadcasts.


One Russian bank used the change as an advertising opportunity, covering the side of a building in central Moscow with a map of Crimea and the slogan “Russia and Crimea together forever.”




NOAA Announces RFI to Unleash Power of ‘Big Data’ Agency Calls Upon American Companies to Help Solve ‘Big Data” Problem 

Today, NOAA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced a new effort to unleash the power of its data to foster innovation, create new industries and job opportunities, and spur economic growth. NOAA, through a Request for Information, is looking to the private industry to help make NOAA’s data available in a rapid, scalable manner to the public. Of the 20 terabytes of data NOAA gathers each day — twice the data of the entire printed collection of the United States Library of Congress — only a small percentage is easily accessible to the public. Through the RFI, American companies will be able to provide possible solutions for NOAA to be able to turn this untapped information into usable products or services. 


“From the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor, NOAA works to keep citizens informed about the changing environment around them,” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. “Our vast network of radars, satellites, buoys, ships, aircraft, tide gauges, and supercomputers keep tabs on the condition of our planet’s health and provides critical information that’s used to predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coastlines. As we continue to witness changes on this dynamic planet we call home, the demand for NOAA’s data is only increasing.” 


“Quite simply, NOAA is the quintessential big data agency,” said Joe Klimavicz, NOAA’s CIO. “However, due to limited resources, only a fraction of that data is effectively and efficiently made available to the public. Imagine the economic potential if more of these data could be released. Unleashing the power of NOAA’s data will take creative and unconventional thinking, and it’s a challenge we can’t tackle alone.” 


NOAA operates a number of operational platforms including: Doppler radar systems; weather satellites; buoy networks and stations; tide gauges; real-time weather stations; and ships and aircraft. This network provides valuable and critical data that are instrumental in protecting lives and property across the country. As demand increases for this data and information, NOAA must find ways to effectively and efficiently distribute it to decision makers and industries. 


More information about the RFI, including how to participate can be found here. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join NOAA on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and other social media channels.  


NOAA’s Mission

Science, Service and Stewardship
To understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts
To share that knowledge and information with others
To conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources


NOAA’s Vision of the Future

Resilient Ecosystems, Communities and Economies
Healthy ecosystems, communities and economies that are resilient in the face of change


Compliments of National Geographic

In 4 billion years, the Milky Way (right) and Andromeda (left) will collide and merge.
This image depicts the view from Earth in 3.75 billion years, as Andromeda begins tugging on and deforming the Milky Way. (NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger)
Storm Chasing

Photograph by Carsten Peter, National Geographic


With a 1,600-pound camera he calls the Kahuna in tow, storm chaser Tim Samaras is on the hunt for an elusive shot of a lightning strike the moment it is born.




Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland


Photograph by Orsolya and Erlend Haarberg


Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano, just before dawn on April 23, 2010: The worst is over. Lava flows freely. Earlier, as it punched through the ice cap, it triggered a meltwater flood that destroyed roads and farms, and a steam explosion that hurled ash into the stratosphere, stopping air traffic for a week.


British Cartographic Society

24 – 26 June 2014

Marwell Hotel    Colden Common    Winchester    Hampshire



Maps Matter… Learn how to make maps mean so much more, for you and your organisation.


Make Maps, Use Maps or Just Love Maps?

Improve your knowledge in a friendly, sharing environment of like-minded professionals and enthusiasts. Pickup tips on design, technical advice about maps in GIS and on-line solutions, the latest research on the maps of tomorrow and their importance as historical records.


Are Maps Part of Your Work?

Do you want to understand maps better?

Are you creating maps, no matter how simple?  

Are you using maps in your projects or research?

Are you a map lover?


BCS EAME Symposium Details



ITMB is proud to release South East Asia Travel Reference Map …



The World’s Best Spicy Food – The World’s Great Wonders – Thorn Tree 5
Pocket Guides now in Norwegian …
Google Maps – Top Reasons Why It Is a Great Free App to Download …

LiDAR Drone system maps height of rainforest for the first time …

Russian expressions based on geography

Russia & India Report

Some geography-inspired set expressions derive from literature or arts. For example, the expression “secrets of the Madrid court” (taini Madridskogo …


The Grammarphobia Blog:

The geography of the apostrophe

Grammarphobia » Blog Pat and Stewart

The geography of the apostrophe. March 24th, 2014. Q: I thought you might finding it interesting that city officials in Cambridge (England) have banned …


Zenergy maps growth with Google

North Bay Business Journal

Zenergy Works coordinated the Google Maps Business View tour for J Vineyards & Winery, which allows virtual visitors to see the wine shop, Bubble 


Online maps showing how Nottinghamshire has changed throughout the ages goes live

Nottingham Post

HISTORIC maps that show how Nottinghamshire’s landscape has changed from the 19th century to the 1950s are now available online …


Six or Seven Continents on Earth Six or Seven Continents is a Common Answer …

By Matt Rosenberg


Are you a developer with an innovative idea for an app that could help communities become more resilient to climate change? Could that idea use Esri technology? If so, enter our Esri Climate Resilience App Challenge 2014 …


Companies and government organizations look for graduates who have excellent geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) knowledge and critical thinking skills. Penn State …


A Concise History of Geological Maps: From Outcrop to the first Map …


Andreas Gursky: Pictures That Conjure Both Topography and Structure


A new exhibition of work by the internationally renowned photographer Andreas Gursky opens in London on the 15 April. From the moment he started …


Pet-Themed Map Icons, Now Available In Our iPhone and Android Apps … 


Webinar: Resources of the National Geophysical Data Center
A live training Webinar, “Resources of the National Geophysical Data Center,” will be offered on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

Register today for “Resources of the National Geophysical Data Center.”

Start Time: 2 p.m. Eastern Time
Duration: 60 minutes
Speaker: Dan Kowal, Data Administrator at the National Geophysical Data Center
Kowal will provide a background of one of NOAA’s three data archives that specializes in the scientific data stewardship of geophysical data that spans the surface of the sun to bottom of the seafloor. He will give an overview of the types of services available from the Data Center.
Learning Objectives: Participants will learn about the breadth of data disciplines covered by NGDC and the access tools available to query and retrieve data. Registration is required. Space is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon registering, an e-mail confirmation of registration will include instructions for joining the Webinar. Registration confirmations for the Webinar will be sent from To ensure delivery of registration confirmations, registrants should configure junk mail or spam filter(s) to permit messages from that email address.
FDLP News & Events is a service of the Federal Depository Library Program.




Melbourne, Australia

IMIA Asia Pacific Conference Call for Presentations

Applications Close – Monday 31st March 2014


We now invite submissions for presentations at the International Map Industry Association Asia Pacific Region Conference to be held 17-19 August 2014 at Rydges Hotel, Exhibition Street, Melbourne.



Our theme this year is the ‘Power of Location’ and presentations should be relative to this theme and be 30 – 40 minutes in length with 5 minutes for question time.



By presenting you will:

  • Have a great opportunity to showcase your projects and knowledge.
  • Gain peer recognition from industry professionals.
  • Be exposed to prospective clients, partners and academics. 


The submission must contain:

  • Presentation Title
  • Presenter Biography (25 words or less)
  • Abstract (150 words or less)
  • Company Name and Contact Details

The Conference Committee will evaluate all abstracts and make selections based on topic, content and time available. All authors will be notified by 15th April after the selection process has been completed. All presenters must be registered for the conference.



Please send presentation submissions to the Asia Pacific Presentation Programme Chairman, Igor Stjepanovic at



These opportunities are a perfect way to launch a new product or make your services known to the industry and to network with key decision makers from the government and the private sector. For full information and to view available sponsorships please go to our conference website at If you would like to put your company name next to any of these sponsorships please contact Igor or Noleen Zander


Announcing IMIA’s First MapHack Day

Sunday 17 August 2014


Join us in a day of ‘open hacking’. Discover OPEN-source tools to hack OPEN data. OPEN your mind to learn some code (even just a small bit). Create an engaging web map in the space of a few hours. Be mentored by industry professionals and learn from your colleagues about what is possible when it comes to interactive maps.


As part of the IMIA Asia Pacific Conference, #IMIAMapHack kicks off at 10.00 a.m. at the offices of Spatial Vision. Level 4, 575 Bourke Street, Melbourne. This is a NO COST event and open to all conference attendees. BYO laptop, ideas and plenty of enthusiasm.

Proposed format for the day is a brief intro by our mentors on CartoDB, our tool of choice, break off into teams, brainstorm an idea, collect some open data (you may do some of the thinking and data collecting beforehand), and get to work creating a beautiful visualisation. Document your ideas as you go, as your team be required to briefly present their map to the conference. The day is designed to give you an introduction to CartoDB, open data, open source software, simple coding and allow you to learn from your peers. Please register for the event, which will be capped at 50 attendees. 



IMIA Calendar of Events



Mapping Our World

November 2013 – March 2014
National Library of Australia

Canberra, Australia


The London Book Fair

08 – 10 April 2014

London, England UK


Locate 14

07 – 09 April 2014

Canberra, Australia


IMIA EAME / British Cartographic Society Symposium

 25 – 26 June 2014
  Winchester, England UK

Esri International User Conference

14 – 18 July 2014

San Diego, CA USA  


 IMIA Asia Pacific Region Conference / Trade Show

17 – 19 August 2014

Melbourne, Australia


The Frankfurt Book Fair

08 – 12 October 2014

Frankfurt, Germany


IMIA Americas Conference / Member Showcase

02 – 05 November 2014

Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center

Denver, CO USA




IMIA Website Benefactors






Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors