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Executive Q&A: The Development Of GIS — Yesterday, Today, And Beyond July 4, 2010

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in English, Haber (News).
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In the late 1960s, there was a growing environmental awareness in the United States and some other parts of the world. Unfortunately, this increased awareness was largely due to environmental disasters, such as when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland. Around the same time, Stewart Brand of Whole Earth Catalog fame was among those lobbying NASA to release the first photograph of earth taken from space. He knew that viewing that image would have a monumental impact on society by letting us actually see our planet in context for the first time. That photograph was eventually released, and I think it fundamentally changed the way we viewed our environment and our relationship with it. 1969 also saw passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in the United States-a landmark step in environmental protection. So it was a time of a lot of change, when a lot of people’s attitudes were changing; when people really started to “wake up” and “get real” about the damage we were doing to our environment.

Many people as part of this movement wanted to “save the world.” Well, it wasn’t as much about saving the planet as saving or protecting the aspects of the environment that were critical to the survival of the human race. It was a realization that each decision we make concerning the use of our natural and cultural resources has a profound effect on the future. Rational management and planning of our resources requires a certain investment in information. Concern for the future of the environment society as we know it, and the belief that better information makes for better decisions, lead us to create ESRI.

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