Journal cover Journal topic
Proceedings of the ICA
Journal topic
Articles | Volume 1
16 May 2018
 | 16 May 2018

Mapping the world: cartographic and geographic visualization by the United Nations Geospatial Information Section (formerly Cartographic Section)

Ayako Kagawa and Guillaume Le Sourd

Keywords: Maps, geospatial information, United Nations

Abstract. United Nations Secretariat activities, mapping began in 1946, and by 1951, the need for maps increased and an office with a team of cartographers was established. Since then, with the development of technologies including internet, remote sensing, unmanned aerial systems, relationship database management and information systems, geospatial information provides an ever-increasing variation of support to the work of the Organization for planning of operations, decision-making and monitoring of crises. However, the need for maps has remained intact. This presentation aims to highlight some of the cartographic representation styles over the decades by reviewing the evolution of selected maps by the office, and noting the changing cognitive and semiotic aspects of cartographic and geographic visualization required by the United Nations. Through presentation and analysis of these maps, the changing dynamics of the Organization in information management can be reflected, with a reminder of the continuing and expanding deconstructionist role of a cartographer, now geospatial information management experts.

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