Today our world is facing serious challenges, and it’s clear that we need to work together to collectively create a better future. We don’t really have a lot of choice in this matter. We need to leverage our very best brains, our best creative talent, our best design talent, our technology, and our science, and use it to create a more sustainable future.
It’s a big challenge–by its very nature, a geographic challenge–that will require a lot of GIS talent.
GIS changes how we think and how we act. It’s transformational. It also integrates geographic science into everything we do–what we measure, how we analyze things, what predictions we make, how we plan, how we design, how we evaluate, and ultimately how we manage it over time.
GIS is already helping us to understand things. It provides a framework for transforming the world through all kinds of activities. But to meet the geographic challenges we face, we need to also fundamentally transform GIS itself. We need to scale up GIS.
GIS is integrative; it’s visual; it’s quantitative, and it’s analytic. It has the power to organize things systematically. And it’s built on the science of geography, which is comprehe
nsive and cuts across many disciplines. The scientific foundation of geography is the basis for the scaling up of GIS to meet the grand challenges the world faces today.
Watch Esri president and founder Jack Dangermond deliver his opening remarks at the 2013 Esri International User Conference.