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A Tribute to Roger Tomlinson (1933 – 2014)

Roger TomlinsonRoger Tomlinson (File Photo)

A native of Cambridge, England, Roger F. Tomlinson is credited for coining the term geographic information system (GIS). He created one of the first computerized geographic information system in the 1960s, while working for the Canadian government. He settled in Canada after military service and obtaining his university degrees. Tomlinson had a distinguished career as a pioneer in GIS. For 12 years, he was chairman of the International Geographical Union GIS Commission. He was also president of the Canadian Association of Geographers and received the prestigious Alexander Graham Bell Medal by the National Geographic Society. Most recently, he was awarded the Order of Canada by the Governor General for "changing the face of geography as a discipline." Tomlinson was also the author of Thinking About GIS: Geographic Information System Planning for Managers, one of the most widely read books on the subject.

On Thursday, April 10, at the 2014 AAG annual meeting in Tampa, Fla., AAG, the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) and the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) sponsored the event at which colleagues and friends of Roger Tomlinson gathered to share their memories of his life. AAG Executive Director Doug Richardson read this tribute by Duane Marble, who could not attend the event.

Listen to the 6 1/2-minute video.


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