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GIS Emerges as New Communication Method

Posted January. 26, 2008 07:04,   


Citizens in Bangkok, Thailand, can choose their public rental apartments while watching an electronic map on the Internet. New Yorkers can file a civil application to repair roads and sidewalks by utilizing the geographic information system (GIS) on the Web.

So said Jack Dangermond, president of the world’s leading company for the development and application of GIS software, in an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo in Seoul.

The founder and CEO of Environmental Systems Research Institute said, “GIS including electronic maps has increasingly played a major role in administrative management at public agencies and decision making at corporations.”

A GIS is a collection of computer hardware, software and geographic data used to analyze and display geographically referenced information.

“A growing number of information services combined with providing e-maps, like ‘Google Earth’ released by Google, are in place,” he said. “Electronic maps will become a new method for communication for all people.”

Dangermond visited Korea to attend a conference hosted by Sundosoft Inc., a domestic leading firm in GIS.

On criticism that GIS could undermine national security, he said, “China and India have very strict regulations on providing information for security concerns. But this is a very outdated idea.”

He also acknowledged that GIS has led to worry over violating intellectual property rights, security, safety and privacy. “We should believe our previous experiences on disclosing and sharing information have been more successful,” he said.

His California-based firm has secured a million users worldwide since its foundation in 1969, having the largest market share with 710 million dollars of revenue last year.

Dangermond is also an adviser to government organizations including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and The National Science Foundation.