When Jack Dangermond started Esri in 1969, he was among a relative handful of people pursuing a career in geographic information systems who thought computer-generated maps were cool. Now, with the kudzu-like spread of maps in smartphone apps and Web mashups, it’s as if the rest of the world has come around to his way of seeing.
In this Data Informed podcast, Dangermond explains how those consumer trends influenced Esri to work on a new version of its ArcGIS platform designed for the cloud and around online collaboration. The company unveiled the new version in June 2012.
Dangermond also discusses Esri’s plans to build new connectors to business intelligence tools like MicroStrategy, as well as develop three-dimensional visualizations to conduct spatial data mining using resources such as Hadoop.
“In the consumer space, I’m very excited that the world is waking up to maps,” says Dangermond, who has a habit of peppering his language with use cases. “There’s this natural affinity to maps. Why is that? My theory is that maps are a kind of language. We have text language, we have music as a language, we have mathematical languages, we have software languages. Maps are a language. And their power is that they communicate intuitively to people. You can look at a map, and, Ah! You can see context as well as content. … Whether it’s a law enforcement situation, or a social situation, or whatever. And you also see the content of the actual phenomena that’s occurring. This happened there.”
(Podcast running time: 29:49.)
Michael Goldberg is editor of Data Informed. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.