Jack Dangermond, President of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), is recognized as a pioneer in spatial analysis methods and one of the founding fathers of GIS technology. He is also considered to be one of the most influential people in GIS.
In developing GIS technology and its applications, Mr. Dangermond combined an early interest in computers with studies in environmental science at California Polytechnic College, urban planning at the University of Minnesota and landscape architecture at Harvard University. In 1969, he and his wife founded ESRI in his hometown of Redlands, California and ever since has been an outspoken proponent of GIS as one of man's most promising decision-making tools for urban, regional, environmental, and global problems.
ESRI has the largest GIS software install base in the world with more than one million users in more than 130,000 organizations representing business, government, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and academia. Mr. Dangermond fostered the growth of ESRI from a small research group to an organization of 2,700 employees, known internationally for GIS software development, training and services.
But beyond his commercial success, Mr. Dangermond has been a leader and visionary in a way that has promoted the technology beyond that of his own company. For more than 30 years, Mr. Dangermond has delivered keynote addresses at numerous international conferences, published hundreds of papers on GIS and in such diverse fields as computer science, photogrammetry, planning, environmental science and cartography, and given thousands of presentations on GIS around the world, including many at URISA conferences. He is the recipient of a number of awards, honorary degrees and medals, including URISA’s Horwood Award.
As important as all that, his passion for GIS and for its application to solving problems, particularly for the causes of the environment and the less empowered in society, and his generosity concerning those issues, is well known throughout the industry.