The National Geographic Society recently awarded Alexander Graham Bell Medals to GIS pioneers Dr. Roger Tomlinson and Jack Dangermond.
The Alexander Graham Bell Medal is named after the inventor, who also served as the second president of the National Geographic society. It is awarded for extraordinary achievement in geographic research.
Bell’s great-grandson, National Geographic Society Chairman Gilbert M. Grosvenor presented the medals to Tomlinson and Dangermond at the ESRI International User Conference on July 12, 2010.
Tomlinson developed GIS in the 60s–a development that has fundamentally
changed geography as a discipline. GIS (geographic information
systems) is any system used for capturing, storing, referencing, and
displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface. Tomlinson’s
expertise in understanding patterns of land use, urban development, and
natural resource use has been sought by governments and scientists
around the world.
Dangermond, founder and president of ESRI, is one of the most prominent
GIS figures in the world. He has been an outspoken advocate for use of
GIS in urban, regional, environmental, and global problem-solving.
ESRI, founded as Environmental Research Systems Institute in 1969, has
the largest GIS software repository in the world. Businesses,
governments, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions use
ESRI, and especially its ArcGIS products.
The Alexander Graham Bell Medal has been given only once before, to
Bradford and Barbara Washburn, in 1980. The Washburns are explorers,
mountaineers and cartographers.
To learn more about Tomlinson and Dangermond, read National Geographic’s press release.