Jack Dangermond

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Jack Dangermond with his wife Laura co-founded the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), a privately-held Geographic Information Systems software company in 1969.

Dangermond is the company's President and Chief Executive Officer and works out of ESRI's headquarters in Redlands, California. Dangermond founded ESRI to perform land use analysis, however its focus evolved into GIS software development, highlighted by the release of ARC/INFO in the early 1980s; the development and marketing of ARC/INFO positioned ESRI with the dominant market share among GIS software developers. Today ESRI is the largest GIS software developer in the world and its flagship product, ArcGIS traces its heritage to Dangermond's initial efforts in developing ARC/INFO.

Jack Dangermond speaking at Harvard, 2006

Awards and accolades

Dangermond has had a strong impact on the development of GIS methodologies, the GIS software market, GIS technology research and related analytical methods. He has received many awards reflecting the influence of his work, including:

  • The Cullum Geographical Medal of the American Geographical Society
  • The EDUCAUSE Medal of EduCause
  • The Horwood Award of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association
  • The Anderson Medal of the Association of American Geographers
  • The John Wesley Powell Award of the US Geological Survey.


Dangermond completed his undergraduate work at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.[1] He earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture. He then earned a Master of Science degree in environmental science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design GSD in 1969. His early work in the Harvard's Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis (LCGSA) led directly to the development of ESRI's ArcInfo GIS software. He has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from institutions including Ferris State University, University of Redlands, University of West Hungary, City University in London, England, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, State University of New York at Buffalo, Loma Linda University, and the University of Minnesota.


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