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December 13, 2016

Charting the Unknown: How Computer Mapping at Harvard Became GIS

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In 1965, scientists and artists converged at the Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis to think about using computers for mapping. Though people were experimenting with computer mapping in other parts of the world, the "birth of GIS" has connections to the Harvard Lab. Richly illustrated with fascinating maps and other historical documents from the lab's archives, this is the story of what is now a multibillion-dollar segment of the computer software industry. Also featured are some of the lab's alumni, including Allan Schmidt, who pursued cutting-edge research to apply emerging technologies to demographics and land-use change, and Jack Dangermond, who saw commercial potential and founded the Environmental Systems Research Institute.

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