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A Pioneer for the Planet

dangermond.jpgThe Institute on the Environment had the privilege this week of welcoming geographic information systems pioneer Jack Dangermond as its first Distinguished Visiting Fellow. A 1968 graduate of the University of Minnesota's architecture program, Dangermond is co-founder and president of the mapping software giant Esri.

As part of his visit, Dangermond gave a public presentation on the role of mapping and geographic analysis in collaboration and decision making. In it, he underscored the importance of geospatial systems in shaping our planet's future.

dangermond2.jpg"We're living in a time that is unparalleled in the human history of the world," he told his audience at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. "It could go multiple ways. It could burn out. We could just blink away. Or we could become more conscious and look at our footprints and change the world." Geospatial systems, Dangermond said, can make a big difference in which trajectory we take because it allows us to see patterns, relationships and processes and derive from raw data the knowledge we need to make planet-saving decisions.

Dangermond said he sees exciting times ahead as map-making takes advantage of mobile media, crowdsourcing, 3D capabilities and other emerging technologies and trends.

"Geospatial information well told," he said, "I think can change the world."

Like to learn more about Dangermond's visionary approach to mapping and life? Check out the video of his presentation here.


The work of Jack Dangermond is really inspiring and motivating! It is great that beyond his commercial success, Mr. Dangermond has been a leader and visionary in a way that has promoted the technology beyond that of his own company. He deservs the great number of awards, honorary degrees and medals.

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  • Mary Hoff: Agreed! Thank you for your comment. read more
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This page contains a single entry by Mary Hoff published on April 12, 2012 10:25 AM.

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