The Unlikely History of the Origins of Modern Maps
Efforts to explain what GIS actually is almost invariably wax philosophical. At its most essential, GIS is a system for marrying data sets with geography. But it can better be understood as the product of a specific historic moment whose fruit is just coming to bear – a moment arising from the spontaneous amalgam of diverse technologies reaching their apparent apotheosis. And it began when a young Roger Tomlinson—and others—wanted to geographically assess more information than ever before. While the rise of digital culture has served to erode countless boundaries in traditional disciplines, that corrosion partially began in an airplane in 1962 with the predicament of getting gobs of information into one little map.