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Serving the Community Serving the world


Jack Dangermond
President
Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc.
(ESRI), USA
Modern GIS technology allows us to abstract geographies with five basic elements: maps and globes, geodata sets, work flow models, data models, and metadata. Together, these five basic elements represent what we call ‘geographic knowledge’ and are the building blocks for intelligent geographic information systems

In a world of dwindling natural resources and an environment that is increasingly stressed, the need for us to reevaluate our position in the world and assume the role of conservator, rather than exploiter, is absolutely essential.

Geography provides a science-based framework for measuring and organizing our world. GIS provides a kind of digital abstraction of geography that allows humans to record, share, and receive insight into the interaction and dynamics between natural and man-made elements of our world.

Modern GIS technology allows us to abstract geographies with five basic elements: maps and globes, geodata sets, work flow models, data models, and metadata. Together, these five basic elements represent what we call ‘geographic knowledge’ and are the building blocks for intelligent geographic information systems – they are a digital version of geography. These systems encapsulate our knowledge and provide a foundation to help us serve our world with improved efficiencies, decision making, planning, geographic accountability, science-based plans, and communication.

GIS can provide the necessary framework and direction to enable the monitoring and management of our planet. This is essential to promote effective change in both the environment itself and our perception of our relationship to the environment. While in the past, natural forces shaped and controlled the evolution of the earth and its inhabitants, today the human species is increasingly managing various aspects of our planet. At the same time, population growth and the increasing human tendency to consume resources is accelerating change. GIS has the capability to help us better understand the processes leading to these changes and assimilate that information into the decision making process. It can help us take greater, more considered actions in directing changes and promoting smart growth.