24th ICC, Chile, Santiago, November 15-21. 2009

Papers presented:

Shingareva, Kira: Nomenclature Of Planetary Surface Details: Current State And Problems. 24th ICC 2009, Chile, Santiago, November 15-21. 2009.

Golodnikova, Irina: The Second Stage Of The Multilingual Map Project: Mapping Of Giant Planets Satellites. 24th ICC 2009, Chile, Santiago, November 15-21. 2009.

Hargitai H., M. Gede: Multilingual Virtual Globes Of Venus And Mars. ICC 2009, Chile, Santiago, 2009.

Hargitai, Henrik: International Planetary Cartography Database. 24th ICC 2009, Chile, Santiago, November 15-21. 2009.

Nass, Andrea: Conception Of A Geo-database And An Application-oriented Query System For Geological Mapping Of Martian Surface. 24th ICC 2009, Chile, Santiago, November 15-21. 2009.


Meeting in Santiago, Chile
During the XXIV ICC Conference in Santiago,  Chile, a session and a meeting of the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography were held. Both events were prepared by Kira Shingareva (Russian Federation) and Henrik
Hargitai (Hungary) and facilitated by Henrik Hargitai (Kira Shingareva was unable to attend due to unexpected administrative reasons).

The main topics of the sessions were: the International Planetary Cartography Database, virtual globes of Venus, Mars and the Moon, nomenclature of planetary surface features (current state and challenges), multilingual
map series project, conception of a geo-database and an application-oriented query system for geological mapping of Martian surface. It is necessary to underline that most of Commission projects are international, organized and realized by the cooperation of several countries.
For example, the International Planetary Cartography Database is a joint project of ELTE University Budapest and MIIGAiK Moscow, and the virtual globes of Venus, Mars and the Moon is a joint project with the Virtual Globe

During the meeting the following Commission plans have been discussed:• The new series of multilingual maps of giant planets’ satellites. The first one is the preliminary version of the map of Io (it was demonstrated at the Planets and Spacesession by Manfred Buchroithner within a joint project of TU Dresden and MIIGAiK, Moscow). The planned ones include Ganymede, Europa, Callisto. Our goal is to publish this series in other languages as well. The distribution of maps is a problem.

By the next ICC in Paris we plan to publish a glossary of terms for planetary cartography in five languages. This project is currently in the editing stage.

Two databases are planned to be connected to the virtual globes (or maps) and linked together. The Database of Planetary Landform Types (in general) is under development. It would contain general description and interpretation of feature types. The Database of Planetary Landforms(by name) would contain a list of the major named and unnamed features of planetary bodies together with images, data, descriptions, interpretations.
The revision of planetary nomenclature is a complex issue. In our work there are two opposite directions: one is standardization and the other is the diversification. Both are important. From scientific point of view, corrections in IAU/USGS Planetary Nomenclature Gazetteer would be necessary since it includes mistakes. We have also made some general recommendations on the present nomenclature system, especially concerning widely used informal names. For products made for the general public (especially aimed for children) we would promote diversity in visual styles and a nomenclature using local languages in addition to Latin names.We would like to propose that the UN should establish a working group on planetary names. We understand that the task of the development of the planetary nomenclature system have been passed from the UN to the IAU, but now it is needed to harmonize extraterrestrial nomenclature with the terrestrial one and to have a more accurate database. Therefore, there is a need for a body which is an expert in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial naming systems. Such a group existed until 1974 under the leadership of A. Komkov (USSR). We are sure that it is possible to discuss this proposal further and find an acceptable solution. The names as a cultural heritage are of the great importance for mankind.

The Commission proposes the following initiatives:

  • To send an online questionnaire to cartographic agencies and state organizations all  over the world asking about their attitude (relations) towards planetary cartography in general and their possible participation.
  • To inform Publishing Houses in many countries about the existence of planetary maps in order to persuade them to replace old photo-and-description style presentation pages of the Solar System with maps in a visual style similar to those used in the particular World Atlas they are publishing.
  • To join forces with the ICA Commission on Cartography and Children in the field of planetary cartography education and geography of extraterrestrial territories.
  • To digitise the Commission’s existing maps and publish them in PDF format as images and text. The digitization could be carried out at university departments. The hand drawn hill shading is very valuable even in the  digital environment, therefore these maps should reach a wide audience via the Internet.
  • To support Andrea Nass (DLR) working on a project which involves the description of a working infrastructure system for the creation of professional planetary base maps, which geologists can use to add their data. It would  be very useful for countries where planetary geologists have no planetary cartographers to work with.


Henrik Hargitai and Kira Shingareva | Member  / Chair | ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography |  Hungary / Russia

(Source: ICA News 2009. Dec)


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