Computing and Telecoms 2012
Jack Dangermond and John Hanke pioneered the use of geospatial data in software applications and created new markets for maps and mapping applications.
A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. It allows users to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.
Dangermond and his wife Laura started Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) 42 years ago as a consulting firm that specialized in land-use analysis projects. Today, ESRI is the dominant GIS software developer in the world. ArcGIS, ESRI’s flagship product, provides a standards-based platform for spatial analysis, data management, and mapping. Initially created using land-based navigation systems, the software now relies on location data from global positioning systems and runs on desktop, server, and mobile platforms.
Dangermond and ESRI helped lay the foundation for many of today's web-based and mobile-based mapping and location service applications for communication and commerce. ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide and by more than 7,000 colleges and universities. The privately held ESRI does not report its revenues, but ARC Advisory Services estimates it had 40.7% of the worldwide GIS market in 2010.
Hanke in 2001 co-founded Keyhole, a software company that developed three-dimensional digital imagery of the earth. In 2003, the Department of Defense started using Keyhole for national security applications. Google acquired Keyhole in 2004 and Hanke led product management for Google's geo products, including Maps and Earth. The Google Earth platform, based on Keyhole's technology, was launched in 2005.
Google Maps, also launched in 2005, offers driving directions in 187 countries, spanning 26 million miles of road, access to maps on mobile devices and Street View coverage of more than 3,000 cities across 40 countries and part of Antarctica. There are more than one billion monthly users of Google Maps services.