German Society of Cartography (DGfK): Commission on High Mountain Cartography
International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commission on Mountain Cartography

Minutes of the

7th meeting of the Commission on High Mountain Cartography of DGfK

and the

Informal meeting of the proposed ICA Commission on Mountain Cartography

Date:    Tuesday, August 17,1999, 13:00 - 15:00 (1 PM - 3 PM) during ICA 1999 Ottawa

Place:    At the Government Conference Centre, Ottawa, Canada

Participants: Blanca Baella (E), Manfred Buchroithner (D), Thomas Damoiseaux (D), Jacek Drachal (PL), Reidar Fossum (N), W. Randolph Franklin (USA), Georg Gartner (A), Martin Gurtner (CH), Christian Häberling (CH), Lorenz Hurni (CH), Sabine Kirschenbauer (D), Kristoffer Kristiansen (N), Karel Kriz (A), Andreas Neumann (A), Tom Patterson (USA), Dusan Petrovic (SLO), Maria Pla (E), Waldemar Rudnicki (PL), Robert Schenkel (D), Roger D. Wheate (CAN), Theodor Wintges (D), Jo Wood (UK)


1.    Welcome
Lorenz Hurni (CH) and Karel Kriz (A) welcome the 22 participants. The reasons for international commission activities in mountain cartography are stated as follows: "The social and economic importance of mountain regions has been increasing in the last few years. A growing use of alpine areas as leisure parks can be observed in the service societies of Europe, North America and Japan. In Central Europe, the alpine countries play a major role for transit traffic between Northern and Southern Europe. In third world countries the population pressure leads to a more intensive settlement and economic harnessing of mountain regions. Finally, the number of natural hazards with devastating consequences for man is growing in all of these areas due to this pressure and partially due to climatic influences. Together with the growing importance of mountain areas, the demand for adequate cartographic base data with respect to its contents, graphic design and the media is also increasing. Especially the visualisation of a large spectrum of new themes requires new cartographic methods and approaches which go beyond classical topographic cartography. In this domain, cartographic research stands only at its beginnings."

2.    Review of the formal minutes of the meeting of the German Commission at Maastricht (NL) on May 18, 1999
No comments. The minutes are approved.

3.    Short presentation of the Commission on High Mountain Cartography of the German Society of Cartography (DGfK)
A first application for an ICA working group on Mountain Cartography by Germany was rejected by the delegates in Barcelona in 1995. The German Society was asked to take up activities in this domain during the next four years and to apply again at the next General Assembly of ICA. During the Cartographic Congress in Interlaken (Switzerland) in 1996, the Commission on High Mountain Cartography of the German Society of Cartography, with representatives of the three German-speaking alpine countries was founded. In February 1998, the Commission organised a first workshop in the Silvretta area in Austria with 35 participants from 7 countries, which demonstrated the breadth and necessity of this research area. The results of this workshop were recently published in the "Wiener Schriften", volume 11 (see An extension and integration of the commission's work within the current activities of ICA was considered very important and lead to a new application to ICA.

4.    Status report on application for establishment of an ICA Commission on Mountain Cartography
The application signed by the three German-speaking alpine countries was submitted to the ICA in March 1999. It was then approved by the ICA executive committee and dealt by the ICA General Assembly in Ottawa on August 15,1999. The establishment of a new ICA commission on Mountain Cartography was accepted during the second assembly meeting by the 11th General Assembly of the ICA on August 21, 1999. Michael Wood (UK) has been appointed to serve as liaison officer to the ICA executive committee.

5.    Terms of reference
The following terms of reference have been defined by the commission and approved by ICA:

Main objectives:
· Definition of the scope of subjects of high mountain cartography
· Promotion of mountain cartography.
· Providing a platform to promote the exchange of ideas and scientific collaboration between scientists in mountain cartography and related fields.
1.    Internal and external communication:
· Email, web-site, organisation of joint workshops on specific thematic subjects in mountain cartography.
· Collaboration with other ICA and national commissions.
2.    Survey and indexing of topics within mountain cartography and its related fields:
· Compilation of web-based compendium.
· Collection of mountain cartography specific and related links.
· Collection of bibliographic references.
· Status of national mountain cartography activities (federal agencies, private companies, etc.).
3.    Promotion of joint research projects with other organisations and ICA commissions.
The intended products are the website, the compendium of mountain cartography (definitions, etc.), the bibliography, the workshops, and journal articles.

6.    Recruiting of international members
The new commission will be chaired by Lorenz Hurni (CH) and co-chaired by Karel Kriz (A). It is intended to establish a core group of about 5-8 regular, a number of corresponding members (1 per country) and other interested members. The regular members will be responsible for the work on the terms of reference, corresponding and other members are welcome to provide other relevant input! A list of all individuals will be distributed electronically. All members are invited to promote the commission among other interested individuals or organisations.

7.    Communication within group
    Internal and external communication will be by email. A website ( will be installed at the beginning of November 1999. It will include an electronic discussion forum. The website will be combined with the existing German homepage ( Main communication language will be English, other languages upon demand (mainly German and French).

8.    Workshops
Karel Kriz presents the results of the Silvretta workshop 1998, which have been published in the "Wiener Schriften volume 11 (see Topic 3).
Next workshops:
· Rudolfshuette (Austria): March 29, 2000 - April 4, 2000 (Organiser: Manfred Buchroithner); for more information, please visit:
The programme will also be distributed electronically.
· Mt. Hood (USA) May 16-19, 2002 (Organisers: Tom Patterson, Karel Kriz)

9.    Regular group meetings
    It is planned to have face to face meetings at least once a year.

10.    Next meeting
November 7, 1999, 16:00-18:00, Vienna, AUSTRIA
Department of Geography (1st floor, Computer-Cartography)
Universitaetsstr. 7, A-1010 Wien, AUSTRIA
Organisation: Karel KRIZ
Tel: (+43 1) 4277 48641
Fax: (+43 1) 4277 48649

11.    Special announcment
Anniversary Colloquium:
25 years cartography curriculum at the University of Vienna
Montag, 8. November 1999, 10.00 Uhr c.t. bis ca. 16.30 Uhr
Kleiner Festsaal der Universität Wien, Dr. Karl Lueger-Ring 1, A-1010 Wien, AUSTRIA
Universitaetsstr. 7, A-1010 Wien, AUSTRIA
For further information please contact Karel Kriz

Lorenz Hurni, ETH Zurich
Chairman of the Commission on High Mountain Cartography of DGfK
Chairman of the ICA Commission on Mountain Cartography