If you've known Jack Dangermond for a while, or at any time during his
illustrious career, he hasn't changed over time. He's still as passionate about
GIS, geography, and mapping as my son is about chocolate in a candy shop. Jack is genuinely interested in his users work across industries, and as usual, he
kicked off the 2008 ESRI Users Conference by publicly recognizing their efforts—noble efforts
in what Jack considers a necessary professional calling to improve
conditions of the planet, society, and humanity. Award after
award, Dangermond recognized the accomplishments of users around the world with use
cases ranging from mapping poverty in Venezuela for economic development initiatives, to the US Dept of Interior's
use of GIS to contain wildfires in California & their program to map threatened polar bear
range habitats in the arctic.
Beyond these annual recognitions, Jack always has a vision to present. This year, his
vision was Action—geography in action. By
action, he discovered through his decades of work with ESRI users that they are collectively creating
more sustainable action leading to better, smarter, more informed decisions . He attributed this phenomenon to what he coins "the GIS Web" of collaborative mapping and geographic knowledge sharing. Jack's GIS Web is clearly a social fabric, but also an information architecture to support social exchanges. ESRIs GIS Web is not only a global participatory system of content publishers, but also an architecture designed around cloud computing concepts of the world wide computer for consumption. And all publishing, consumption, and sharing of geographic information & knowledge is available to all citizens & consumers, knowledge workers, GIS workers, and enterprises - across desktops, mobile devices, and on Web browsers.