Tag Archives: ArcNews

Geography: Seeing the Big Picture

Geography has at least one thing in common with other disciplines: it has become fragmented.  As our world has become more complex, science has responded by becoming narrowly focused. Thousands of very smart people are making remarkable discoveries in their own disciplines. But who is looking at the big picture?

It’s only logical.  When life gets complicated, we often tend to focus on the little things.  It helps us deal with being overwhelmed.  But at some point we need to take a step back and realize that we can’t understand an entire forest if we’re addressing issues one tree at a time.

We’ve done an admirable job examining and understanding a multitude of component pieces that make our planet work.  Now our grand challenge is to integrate all this knowledge so we can understand the “big picture.”

How do we put all of the pieces back together again so that we can understand the whole?  How do we defragment geography?

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ArcNews: 33 Years and Counting

I was sitting in Jack Dangermond’s conference room waiting to be interviewed for a position at Esri. It was October 1989, and I was already a huge fan of ArcNews, anxiously awaiting the arrival of each issue in the mail and immediately reading it from cover to cover. So what a thrill to be handed a copy of the Fall 1989 issue, hot off the press, and told “This is so new, Jack hasn’t even seen it yet.”

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