and not just because I am the executive director of URISA but because I am the mayor of a village."

As demand for GIS has increased over the past decade, the industry itself has changed, according to Bart Hoogenraad, global marketing director for Intergraph. "GIS is moving from being a stand-alone application that is used for a particular job, to integrating into the organization work flow," he observed. " It is now part of the total process within an organization."

Hoogenraad added that GIS is no longer a separate discipline but is now mainstream IT.

According to URISA's Gentes, the technology even impacts countries that do not have it. "The World Health Organization is a huge user of GIS and they have a sophisticated model that predicts droughts in West and South Africa by predicting how much rain there is in the Himalayas," he said. "That way they can get food supplies to places where famine is anticipated. In a model like that, what is the savings in human suffering? And, I guarantee you those models affect countries that don't even have GIS."

Darby Patterson  |  Editor in Chief