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“Intercarto 9” 2003, June 28, Sevastopol, Ukraine

Under the motto “GIS for Sustainable Development of Territories” the 9th INTERCARTO Conference took place in Sevastopol (Crimea, Ukraine) in the newly found Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU), during the 27-29 June 2003.

The main topic of the conference was the use of GIS. There were 5 sessions:

  1. GIS: Theory and Methodology (18 oral presentations)
  2. GIS-technology for Sustainable Development (23 oral presentations)
  3. Sustainable Development and Innovation Projects ( 13 oral presentations)
  4. Ecology GIS-Projects: some Experience (16 oral presentations)
  5. GIS for Seas and Oceans Study (18 oral presentations)

A session on Planetary Cartography was held during the event as well. Planetary science itself is very old and young at the same time, because in its modern form is about 40-50 years old, while Planetary cartography in this sense is even younger. During the last decades we have been in the process of mapping other worlds based on the results of space exploration. The whole topography of Mars, Venus and the Moon was mapped in detail only in the 1990s, while from other planetary bodies we only have scattered or no topographic information at all. We have geologic and shade relief maps of almost all the larger planetary bodies – those that were photographed by  pacecrafts during the last two decades. However, almost all maps available are photo (or pixel) -based, and only a fraction is available as vector cartographic products. At present, planetary maps are mainly available for the  scientific community, but not for the public. With the help of new software and the Internet, a completely new approach in the world of cartography began to emerge: the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which combine previously only separately existed databases, pixel based and vector information into one, easy-to-use, standardized and web-accessible system.

For the countries of the Earth this approach is now reality, while for planetary maps, only separated and incomplete GIS’s exist. The main idea, and output of Intercarto 9, is that it is time to start building a Planetary GIS, in which we combine the planetary data and knowledge of both the former western and eastern block countries (mainly the USA and Russia) into one system that would be available via the Internet in various languages. The Planetary Data System (PDS) in the US can be regarded as a first approach of such database, but it needs to add the data of the former Soviet block countries, and add more scientific and especially cartographic information. Such project is realizing in MIIGAiK (Moscow) under the supervision of Kira Shingareva.

The beginning of MIIGAiK project was reported by Kurpichev (MIIGAiK, Moscow) in his paper entitled ‘Preparation of the Data for put to the Database on images of Solar System bodies’. Leonenko (MIIGAiK, Moscow) analyzed the PDS structure in regards to demands of Planetary Cartography. A new, bilingial map of Venus was presented by Lazarev, Rodionova and Suetova (MGU, Moscow), who used Magellan data for such mapping task. H.Hargitai (Eotvos University, Budapest) presented the new maps in the multilingual planetary map series initiated by MIIGAiK under the support of ICA. Visualization and appropriate and clear – multilingual – nomenclature are the two
problematic points in the making of these new planetary maps. Some papers on the Cartographic Aspects of Venus Nomenclature, Asteroids, etc. are included in the Proceedings of the Conference.

Since Planetary Science is a rapidly changing discipline, there are very few works that summarize our knowledge of other planets and even less that include our own planet in the data, therefore the work of most planetary sciences is different from the works and approach of geographers. Planetary scientists and cartographers can only do their job effectively if they discuss their problems with those who are involved in most advanced GIS research of Earth territories and for this reason such conferences are the best places to discuss these issues.

Some participants of the Intercarto IX conference

Kira B.Shingareva, Henrik I. Hargita

Source: ICA News

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