US: Jack Dangermond, President, ESRI, has been honoured with the Patron’s Medal by the United Kingdom’s Royal Geographical Society (RGS). In its official announcement, RGS said, “Dangermond received the award for his extensive work promoting geographical science through the development of GIS. He is one of the greatest advocates for geography and its key role in understanding and responding to many of the challenges of the twenty-first century.”
Dangermond said, “I believe that as we expand the use of this technology on the Web, people throughout the world will better understand how our actions generate interrelated patterns and processes that affect us all. This insight will spur the age of Applied Geography and be used as a foundation for a greater understanding of ourselves and our planet, providing the incentive for positive change. I accept this award on behalf of my colleagues and, more importantly, our users, who are leveraging geographic knowledge to expand our perception of the dynamics that shape our world.”
“Mapmakers have systematically recorded our increased understanding of the world for more than 2,300 years. With the development of GIS technology, we now have the tools to perform detailed analysis of both physical and human geographies that can help us provide a better stewardship of the planet,” continued Dangermond.
Past honourees of the Patron’s Medal include David Livingstone, Roald Amundsen, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Richard Leakey. The society is a key supporter of many famous expeditions, including those of Charles Darwin, the evolution theorist and biologist, and Robert Scott’s Antarctic explorations. In addition, it sponsors geographic research, education, conferences and workshops.
Dangermond is recognised not only as a pioneer in spatial analysis methods but also as one of the most influential people in GIS. Transcript version of his speech at the Royal Geographical Society can be downloaded here.