By Fielding Buck, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.
Esri founder Jack Dangermond made the case over the weekend to county leaders from throughout the United States that his product can become a new language that the whole world can grasp in sharing data.
Dangermond was the first of four featured speakers at the annual convention of the National Association of Counties in Long Beach. The others were basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham.
Dangermond was introduced by organization president Sallie Clark as setting the industry standard for geographic information systems at Esri, the fourth-largest privately held software company in the world.
GIS has a wide range of applications, from managing land information to transportation planning, energy development, engineering record keeping and tracking crime, Dangermond told his audience.
“This little mapping and GIS technology is becoming a king of language, a language that’s essential for managing in the digital environment,” he said. “It’s also a language that’s kind of a fundamental language. ... It’s a visual language that helps us look at and see and instantly understand things that we couldn’t understand with all the written words or mathematical languages.”
Dangermond presented technology as a solution of stovepiping, the restriction of data flow within organizations, and urged his audience to embrace data sharing between all levels of government and social media.
“My sense is that now is the time to act and you are going to be the audience to embrace this notion, transforming your organizations to understand those bloody issues that are in the newspaper every day, and address them, and use good science as a foundation for it.”
After Dangermond’s presentation Saturday, Josh Candelaria, director of governmental and legislative affairs at San Bernardino County, took the stage with representatives of other counties and parishes that faced recent tragedy.
©2016 The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.