San Antonio, Texas, USA, 5 March 2007 – The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) announced that Michael F. Goodchild of Santa Barbara, California, has been given GITA’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award recognizes an individual’s outstanding contributions and long-standing commitment to the geospatial industry. The presentation was made during GITA’s Annual Conference 30, which was held from March 4 to 7 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Goodchild is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Chair of the Executive Committee, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA); Associate Director of the Alexandria Digital Library Project; and Director of NCGIA’s Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science.
He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Cambridge University in Physics in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Geography from McMaster University in 1969. After 19 years at the University of Western Ontario, he moved to Santa Barbara in 1988. He was Director of NCGIA from 1991 to 1997. Prof. Goodchild was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002, and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.
Prof. Goodchild first encountered geographic information systems and computer mapping in the late 1960s, when it was a struggling high-end computing application, and said he’s particularly gratified by the response the technology has received in universities.
Prof. Goodchild said he’s happy that the general public has reached the point where virtually anyone with a Web browser can make use of geospatial tools; but, at the same time he said that geospatial professionals have only begun to recognize how far they still have to go in giving everyone access to the basic spatial literacy that’s needed to use the tools effectively.
“I’m immensely honored by this award, especially as it comes from an organization that emphasizes the importance of education in the broad and expanding geospatial community. This is a very exciting time to be working in this area, particularly for the younger generation,” Prof. Goodchild said.