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Matthew Langan
Matthew Langan
Matt is the founder of L&R Communications, a content marketing and social media firm that specializes in the geospatial sector.

URISA 2012 – Opening Keynote by Michael F. Goodchild (Part 1 of 2)

February 5th, 2013 by Matthew Langan

Last year, Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) held its GIS-Pro 2012 symposium, which featured a keynote address by geospatial visionary Michael F. Goodchild.

Although recently retired, Goodchild served as a 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.

In his keynote address, Goodchild discussed how far the geospatial sector has come since Al Gore laid his vision for geospatial technologies in 1998, which promoted a virtual reality world where children could go to a museum and enjoy interactive exhibits that zoom in on the earth down to scale and be able to add layers.  This was a full seven years before Google Earth came to fruition.

Fast forward to today, and we have the perfect storm of faster broadband connections and graphic accelerators, as well as the rise of massive amounts of data — all of which support today’s geospatially enabled world. In many ways, Google Earth is also the foundation for this “coming of age” era for geospatial systems.

Though as Goodchild points out, we still have a ways to go.  To date, Google Earth does not have the capabilities to represent the earth in 3D – from the atmosphere all the way down to the earth’s core.

Be sure to check out part one of Goodchild’s keynote address at GIS-Pro 2012 below:

Stay tuned for part two of Goodchild’s keynote address from GIS-Pro 2012.

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Category: Google

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