Harvard Lab for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis

The Harvard Lab for Computer Graphics (reorganized as the Harvard Lab for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis in 1968) was one of several sites in the early development of GIS where seminal innovations in the processing and display of geographically referenced data took place.  Many of the present generation of GIS professionals first experienced computer cartography through the widely distributed automated mapping application SYMAP, completed at the lab in 1966.  SYMAP was widely generalizable and drew from mathematical cartography in producing isoline, choropleth, and proximal maps using a standard line printer as an output device.  Since Harvard had no departmental geography at the time, the initial focus of the lab was directed toward the needs of landscape architects, urban and regional planners, and resource managers and early GIS applications revolved around those disciplines. 

The Harvard Lab for Computer Graphics was an important early moment in the development of what has evolved in GIS over the past four decades.  The contributions of the lab included the training of many creative students and researchers who left the lab to make greater advances elsewhere. 

Back to URISA's GIS Hall of Fame

Applied Ecology
Bad Elf
Cityworks
Cyclomedia
DTSGIS
Eagleview
ESRI
Fox Temple
Geocove
GeoDecisions
GeoTech Vision
Hexagon Geospatial
IMA
K2
MGP
Michael Baker
Planning Communities
Podio
Spatial Relationships
Synergy
TGA inc.
URISA Logo Store
URISA Partners
USC
Valtus Imagery
Vestra
Wellar