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NSF's Discovery Files


Feb 5, 2024

From weather apps to maps, geographic information systems (GIS) are the computer-based tools that drive many modern-day conveniences. The U.S. National Science Foundation has played a central role in the technology's development and growth. NSF established the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) in 1988 and funded more than $83 million in grants in the last two years alone. We are joined by Jack Dangermond, who has served on advisory boards for NSF and NCGIA and alongside his wife Laura, who founded the Environmental Systems Research Institute, now known as ESRI, in 1969. Today, their proprietary software is among the most popular in the field. Dangermond discusses his role in the founding of NCGIA, how technology has transformed the field and the importance of conservation.