Esri president Jack Dangermond spoke at TED2010 about GeoDesign, a concept which enables architects, urban planners, and others to harness the power of GIS to design with nature and geography in mind. Video courtesy TED.
Feb 11th, 2010
00:03Thank you, Chris.
00:05Japanese masters would spend just all hours of the day and days of the seasons and years...
00:11...looking at a particular site to be able to develop something beautiful like this.
00:16And they did a wonderful job.
00:18Don't you agree?
00:19I mean, they're just amazing scenes as opposed to this.
00:26Not so beautiful.
00:27Crimes against nature.
00:29We sort of know how this happened.
00:31Cheap energy, technology caused us to just basically forget about nature altogether.
00:38In the'60s, Ian McHarg, a landscape architect, developed a book called Design With Nature.
00:46And he showed us how we could bring scientific information, maps and so forth, together...
00:51...and integrate it with the design process that would make harmonious and responsible plans.
00:57It sort of caught on a little bit.
00:59But it really inspired me.
01:01As a young landscape architect I was very excited by this idea and also excited by computers and the notion that...
01:07...somehow I could automate this and models and do something with it.
01:11And the...what I did with my wife was start an organization called Environmental Systems Research Institute...
01:17...which builds geographic information systems or does computer mapping.
01:22And this has been now deployed in thousands, hundreds of thousands of organizations in virtually every country in the world.
01:29But it hasn't been enough to deal with the real big challenges that our world is facing today.
01:35You and I are moving into a world where we're starting to measure everything.
01:39And integrate it...everything that moves and changes...and integrate it with geography and the notion of GIS and make that available to everybody.
01:48But measuring all this stuff and making it available and visualizing it, it just still is not enough.
01:55We need to be able to lasso or harness all of that information and use it to be able to design a better world.
02:06GeoDesign is a new concept, is an emerging set of ideas of technology, of methods that basically take this knowledge...
02:15...and integrate it with the design process—design.
02:20It's a way to do interactive work that leverages all of that digital data and allows us to look at alternatives...
02:27...and see once what the impacts are and then make better decisions.
02:32GeoDesign is a...is both an old idea and a new idea.
02:37It's the idea that we can leverage all of what we know to put in our hands the means to be able to do what those Japanese masters used to do...
02:49...which is basically consider all the character of nature and the beauty of our environment and integrate it into what we design...
03:01...how we imagine and create the future.
03:04This is...this is something we need to do and I look to you.
03:10You are so creative and so driven in technology and...and entertainment, storytelling, and design to grasp this idea...
03:24...and pull these pieces together, connect the dots.
03:28And together I believe this is a...this is an idea that...that we can work on together.
03:34Design, design a better world.
03:37Thank you, Chris.
03:38Thank you, Jack.