Jack Dangermond, founder of one of the world's largest geographic information systems (GIS) companies and College of Design alumnus from 1968 who studied landscape architecture and city design, will be on campus Wednesday, April 2.
Dangermond will be a part of a conversation, "Inside GIS," at 303 Coffman Union from 1:30-2:30 p.m. This will be an informal conversation with students, who will have a chance to find out what's next in GIS and design.
From 4:30-5:40 p.m. he will lecture in conjunction with his receiving an honorary degree from the University. The free lecture is open to the public and takes place at McNamara Alumni Center, and is followed by a public reception.
Jack's company, ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute), is focused on developing and using computerized mapping to make better land-use decisions. The tools developed by ESRI are important to the design community, enabling synthesis and overlays of information to reveal relationships and patterns. In a commencement speech at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 1993, Dangermond said that his ideas about combining mapping and graphics together came to him first as a student at the U of M, where Roger Martin and John Borchert were mentors. Studying landscape architecture, Dangermond says, gave him the understanding that "the study of the landscape and land processes and systems and the interpretation of those could be used to guide decision-making." Today, his company employs 4,000 staff and has users in more than 200 countries. The pioneering research and technology developed by ESRI has been used in such diverse areas as marketing, surveying, vehicle routing, economic development, cancer risk analysis, timberland management, and hurricane response management.