The US National Committee (USNC) has secured funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support US based early career scholars (ECS) participating in the 30th International Cartographic Conference and International Cartographic Exhibition in Florence, Italy, on December 14-18, 2021. ECS participating in this hybrid conference remotely can seek support to cover registration fees. ECS attending the conference in person can seek travel support to help offset the costs of travel, lodging, and per diem costs in addition to registration. The ECS funding is available to American and international scholars at U.S. institutions, including undergraduate and graduate students, and those with PhD or master’s degrees earned within the previous five years. Please visit for up-to-date information about submission deadlines and application materials. Support is based on a competitive evaluation of submitted materials.

Pete Chirico will be presenting “Temporal Geomorphic Change Mapping using SfM DEMs from Historical Aerial Photography as a Complement to 3DEP Lidar Data” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, March 12th at 12:00 pm EST. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.


Increasing urbanization and suburban growth in cities globally has highlighted the importance of land planning using detailed geomorphologic maps that depict anthropogenic landform changes. Such mapping provides information crucial for land management and the challenges arising from urbanization. The development and use of quantitative and repeatable methods to map anthropogenic and natural processes are required to advance the science of urban geomorphological mapping. This study created digital terrain models (DTMs) from historical aerial images using Structure from Motion (SfM) for a variety of image dates, resolutions, and photo scales. Accuracy assessments were performed on the SfM DTMs, and they were compared to the USGS’s three-dimensional digital elevation program (3DEP) light detection and ranging (lidar) DTMs to evaluate geomorphic change thresholds based on vertical accuracy assessments and elevation change methodologies. The results of this study document a relationship between historical aerial photo scales and predicted vertical accuracy of the resultant DTMs. The results may be used to assess geomorphic change thresholds over multi-decadal timescales depending on spatial scale, resolution, and accuracy requirements. Further, the work presented contributes to a discussion about the growing importance of sequential elevation change detection to complement land-cover/land-use change mapping in urban and natural environments.

Pete Chirico is the Associate Center Director of the USGS Bascom Geoscience Center in Reston, VA. In over 24 years at USGS, he has focused his research on various aspects of remote sensing and geomorphology including anthropogenic landform change and mapping and monitoring illicit small-scale mining in conflict zones. Pete develops tools and techniques to map elevation change from sequential digital elevation models from a variety of remote sensing sources including aerial photography, satellite imagery, lidar and structure-from-motion photogrammetry. He has worked extensively with the U.S. Government, the United Nations, and the Kimberley Process to understand how natural resource exploitation contribute to conflict financing. While his regional expertise is Sub-Saharan Africa, he has led or been a member of more than 30 field expeditions throughout Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa. He is author/coauthor of over 50 peer reviewed scientific reports and journal articles in the fields of geography, geomorphology, remote sensing, and natural resources. Since 2017, Pete has served as scientific
and technical advisor to the Office of Threat Finance Countermeasures in the Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In February 2021, Pete was awarded a US Embassy Science Fellowship to the US Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana to focus on mapping forest and land-cover changes due to small-scale gold mining using radar remote sensing and geospatial modelling techniques. Degrees: PhD Candidate (expected 2022) in Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC); MA in Geography, University of South Carolina; and BA in Geography, University of Mary Washington.

30th International Cartographic Conference and International Cartographic Exhibition
Florence, Italy, December 14-18, 2021

The U.S. National Committee (USNC) for the International Cartographic Association (ICA), a standing committee of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS), acts as the liaison between ICA and CaGIS, as well as the larger the U.S. cartographic community. The USNC is pleased to announce the following activities in support of the 30th International Cartographic Conference (ICC), the biennial conference of the ICA, which will take place 14–18 December, 2021, in Florence, Italy (discussion of a virtual-only or partly virtual conference is still underway):

USNC Funding to support U.S. participation in the ICC (whether or not it is held virtually) Nominations for ICA awards, primarily ICA Scholarships for early career scholars or professionals U.S. entries in the International Cartographic Exhibition U.S. entries in the U.S. National and Barbara Petchenik International Children’s Map Competition

Although there is no National Report required for ICC 2021 (they must be submitted every four years in conjunction with the ICA General Assembly; the last report was submitted in 2019), CaGIS maintains an archive of previous U.S. National Reports.

Please contact the USNC Chair, Aileen Buckley, at with any questions about the committee and its activities.

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