To contribute to the understanding and solution of worldwide problems through the use of cartography in decision-making processes. To foster the international dissemination of environmental, economic, social and spatial information through mapping. To provide a global forum for discussion of the role and status of cartography. To facilitate the transfer of new cartographic technology and knowledge especially to the developing nations. To carry out or promote multinational cartographic research in order to solve scientific and applied problems. To enhance cartographic education in the broadest sense through publications, seminars and conferences. To promote the use of professional and technical standards in cartography. Priority issues: cartography, education and training, technology, geography, scientific research.
Organization of ICA Conferences every two years, to provide a forum for the presentation and exchange of new ideas and technology through plenary sessions, forums, workshops and exhibitions. (XXIInd International Cartographic Conference, 9-16 July 2005, A Coruña, Spain) (XXIIIrd International Cartographic Conference, 5-11 August, Moscow, Russian Federation).(24th International Cartography Conference, Santiago, Chile, 15-21 November 2009) Organisation of the Barbara Petchenik Children's Map Competition, for children under 16, the aim of which is to promote the creative representation of the world in graphic form by children. The awards are given every two years during an ICA conference or an ICA general assembly.