Sol Katz

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Sol Katz was an early pioneer of geospatial computer software (a sub-category of GIS) and left behind a large body of work in the form of computer applications and format specifications while at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. This early archive provided both source code and applications freely available to the community. Sol was also a frequent contributor to many geospatial list servers.

Sol Katz was born in Sweden in 1947 and moved to New York at the age of 1. Yiddish was his first language, but he learned both Hebrew and English. After high school, he spent three years in the US Air Force, stationed in Germany. Following his brief military career, he decided to go to Brooklyn College in New York where he got his Bachelors in Geology in 2.5 years. He then married his wife Hedy in 1969, and went back to Brooklyn College while teaching in New York Public Schools and got his masters degree, also in Geology. After several years working for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in several states, he settled down in Lakewood, CO and decided to go back to school at the University of Denver in Computer Science and earned a second Masters degree. At this time, he also had two children - Shanna and Risa. Sol died on April 23, 1999 from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.


The Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software (GFOSS) is given to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the GFOSS community.[1]

  • 2005 - Frank Warmerdam - Developer of the GDAL/OGR library
  • 2006 - Markus Neteler - GRASS GIS developer since 1998 and founding-member of Open Source Geospatial Foundation ( OSGeo )
  • 2007 - Steve Lime - Leader of the MapServer Project
  • 2008 - Paul Ramsey - Leader of the PostGIS project[2]


External links