If you have any questions about the code of conduct, please email the NACIS Executive Director at [email protected].


The mission of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) is to enhance communication, coordination, and cooperation among individuals and organizations involved in the production, dissemination, curation, and use of cartographic information. We strive to collaborate and align our efforts with other professional organizations and institutions engaged in the field of cartography. We pledge to improve the use of cartographic materials through education and to promote graphicacy (our ability to read, interpret, and create maps and other graphics or illustrations). NACIS also emphasizes the importance of acquiring, preserving, and facilitating automated retrieval of various forms of cartographic material. Finally, NACIS works to influence government policy related to cartographic information, ensuring that decisions and regulations consider the value and impact of such data.

The NACIS Code of Ethics and Conduct provides guidelines and principles for all members and non-members who participate in NACIS activities regardless of venue or platform. The codes are intended to help establish standards of behavior and ensure that everyone acts ethically and responsibly in their work, within our community, at our annual meeting, and in our virtual and in-person meeting spaces. Additionally, our codes help promote trust and transparency within the NACIS community by demonstrating a commitment to the safety, integrity, and accountability of all our members.


NACIS is committed to providing an inclusive, respectful environment imbued with honesty and integrity and a culture of open communication, trust, and camaraderie. NACIS members and event participants are expected to behave in an honest, professional, and courteous manner and to treat other members and event participants with dignity and respect.

Presenters and exhibitors contributing to NACIS meetings or virtual events must provide original works, free of plagiarism. Proper citation, quotation, and attribution of any other person’s work within presentations or exhibits is the responsibility of the creator(s). If multiple people have prepared  a contribution for a NACIS event, the corresponding creator is responsible for ensuring that the work is correctly attributed. Presenters and exhibitors are responsible for the accuracy of the data presented. Presenters and exhibitors are responsible for securing permission to use any images or whole creative works reproduced as part of their contribution or for declaring that such usage qualifies as Fair Use. Presenters and exhibitors retain all intellectual property rights to their work and license them to NACIS  for eventual video publication.

For the Cartographic Perspectives Code of Conduct see: https://cartographicperspectives.org/index.php/journal/CodeOfConduct


The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) Code of Conduct establishes a basic set of rules and guidelines to help us maintain a safe and welcoming environment for all members and non-members who participate in the NACIS community. We expect participants to follow these rules at annual meetings (whether in-person or virtual), related social events, online forums, on social media, and other Society activities. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned, expelled from NACIS events, or have their membership suspended and/or terminated.

NACIS rules and guidelines

  • Be respectful of all NACIS members and community participants
  • Create a welcoming and inclusive environment for individuals of all backgrounds, identities, and abilities
  • Create an environment free from discrimination and harassment
  • Follow common courtesy in all interactions 
  • Maintain civil and respectful conversations 
  • Promote constructive criticism; avoid challenging or attacking others
  • Present your work giving clear credit to others as warranted
  • Be mindful of others and your surroundings to help ensure a positive and safe environment
  • Obtain consent before any physical contact and respect requests to stop
  • Follow the rules and policies of meeting venues, hotels, online platforms, or any other location where a NACIS event occurs

Statement on harassment and discrimination

NACIS is dedicated to providing an environment free of harassment and discrimination for everyone, whether in physical or virtual spaces. All NACIS community members and participants, including presenters at the annual meeting and exhibitors in the Map Gallery, are subject to the anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy. However, within the context of academic, artistic, and professional practices of cartography, critical examination of beliefs and viewpoints does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment. We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of community members or event participants in any form. Conduct characterized by harassment or discrimination is strictly prohibited. Participants asked to stop any harassing or discriminatory behavior are expected to comply immediately. 

Harassment and discriminatory behavior include but are not limited to:

  • Offensive verbal or written comments related to race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, group status, physical appearance, or body size
  • Physical, verbal, written, or other forms of abuse of any NACIS member, attendee, speaker, volunteer, or guest
  • Non-consentual or deliberate outing of any aspect of a person’s identity
  • Deliberate mistitling, misgendering, or using “dead” or rejected names
  • Actual or simulated physical contact (e.g., text message descriptors such as “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Unwarranted exclusion
  • Publication of private communications
  • Threats of violence
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging self-harm
  • Promoting or participating in harassment, bullying, discrimination, or intimidation on-site, online, and/or on social media
  • Use of social or mainstream media to harm individuals’ privacy or professional status
  • Stalking in person or online
  • Using offensive language or slurs, making derogatory statements, or wearing offensive clothing
  • Coercion
  • Deliberate intimidation
  • Unwelcome photography or recording
  • Disruption of talks or other events
  • Slander or libel
  • Ad hominem (personal attacks) or name calling
  • Sharing gratuitous sexual images or engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Displaying sexual or sexually explicit images in public spaces*

Additionally, submitting a false report of harassment and discriminatory behaviors or other non-adherence to the NACIS Code of Conduct shall be treated as an act of harassment.

*Use of sexual or profane imagery or language in the context of a professional discussion or presentation might not constitute hostile conduct or harassment.


NACIS has established an Ethics Committee, composed of the Society’s Executive Director, President, and Vice President, to receive reports of alleged misconduct occurring at NACIS events or in any NACIS forum, to investigate these reports, and to work with the NACIS Board of Directors to determine an appropriate response from NACIS.

Who can report misconduct?

Anyone, regardless of NACIS membership status, who participates in a NACIS-sponsored event or space can submit a misconduct report. If you witness or are subjected to harassment, discrimination, or another form of misconduct, promptly report the behavior so that NACIS can take immediate action.

How to report misconduct

Submit a written report of misconduct to the NACIS Ethics Committee via email to [email protected], complete the Misconduct Report Form on the NACIS website, or speak directly with a trusted NACIS officer or member of the conference staff. 

The NACIS Ethics Committee will handle all reports and subsequent investigations confidentially and will protect the identities of all involved parties except in circumstances required by law. Misconduct reports will be accessible only to the Ethics Committee.

Misconduct reports need to contain the following information:

  • The name of the person submitting the report (the reporter)
  • The name of the person who was subjected to the misconduct (the target, if not the reporter)
  • The name (if known) and/or a description of the person who committed the misconduct (the accused)
  • A detailed description of the misconduct, including dates, times, locations, witnesses (if any), and any other pertinent information

If you provide a verbal report, the Ethics Committee will also require a written report in order to properly review the allegation of misconduct.

If you report misconduct to someone other than the Ethics Committee or to a member of the Ethics Committee, that individual will need to bring the report to the Committee’s attention in order to start a formal investigation of the alleged misconduct. The reporter bears responsibility for creating the written report.

The Ethics Committee will attempt to investigate anonymous reports of misconduct but may not be able to bring them to full resolution without verifying the reporter’s identity or other details.

How does NACIS review reports?

The NACIS Ethics Committee will review all reports of misconduct. During the initial review, the Ethics Committee will meet to determine if the alleged violation is covered by the NACIS Code of Ethics and Conduct, if an investigation is necessary, and to assign a member of the Ethics Committee as a point of contact with the person who submitted the report. The assigned point of contact will maintain communication with the reporter and/or target throughout this process; however, the reporter/target will not participate in any subsequent investigation.

After the Ethics Committee investigates a report of misconduct, they will prepare their own anonymized report of the incident for the NACIS Board of Directors and, if warranted, schedule a meeting with the Board to discuss potential courses of action or consequences. 

The accused may appeal the Board’s decision by contacting the Ethics Committee in writing. Depending on the specific circumstances of the misconduct or additional information presented in the appeal, the Ethics Committee, in consultation with the Board, may revise the decision. At no time will the accused be given any information that may identify the reporters or targets.

The timeline for handling a report will depend on the circumstances of the alleged misconduct, but in general it will be reviewed and acted upon within 90 days of receiving the report.

Circumstances that require immediate action do not require a formal investigation. NACIS may take any action deemed appropriate to maintain the safety and well-being of our members, participants, and meeting spaces. For example, if a participant engages in harassing behavior during the annual meeting, the offender can be expelled from the conference with no warning or refund.


The Board of Directors reserves the right to issue whatever consequences they deem appropriate for the misconduct under investigation. Further, the Board reserves the right to make their decision public or keep it private.

Because there is no one-size-fits-all consequence, depending on severity the Board may vote to:

  • Verbally warn or reprimand the accused
  • Expel the accused from the current event with no refund
  • Block the accused’s access to NACIS social media and virtual spaces
  • Remove content created by the accused from NACIS outlets
  • Prohibit or limit the accused’s participation in future NACIS events, either indefinitely or for a specified duration
  • Withdraw NACIS financial support (travel grants, awards, scholarships) from the accused
  • Suspend the accused’s NACIS membership
  • Expel the accused from NACIS membership
  • Contact law enforcement or appropriate authorities

Annual Transparency Report

The Ethics Committee will issue an Annual Transparency Report containing anonymized information regarding reports of alleged misconduct at NACIS events or in NACIS virtual spaces, actions taken, and any resulting changes to policies. The President will present it to the membership during the Annual Business Meeting at the annual meeting. Annual Transparency Reports will be published on the NACIS website.

This code of conduct is based in part on an example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, and the Data Visualization Society.

Revised 10/10/2023