The power of GIS language
AbstractI have been working now for 50 years – since the foundation of Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), in 1969 – on building software tools that help different kinds of users do their work better. Some of this is daily management, some of it is work flows but the power of GIS is the central power, the heart of GIS is really remarkable. It’s almost magical to me. So, I’m sort of rediscovering myself and emphasising to all of GIS users all over the world to make better maps. Maps are about telling a story. Many of the maps that users make are maps that don’t tell a story. There are lines and dots and a text and graphic display but they are not leveraging the power of this communication language. So I think of maps as a kind of language and we have photographs and paintings – these are graphic expressions of reality but a map is much more powerful and we need to treat it as the power that it has.
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