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Tomlinson, Roger (1933–)

  • By: Nicholas Chrisman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Roger Tomlinson played a key role in establishing geographic information systems (GIS) from their earliest years. He is one of the very few who merit the title “father of GIS.“

Born in Cambridge, Britain, Tomlinson was a flying officer in the Royal Air Force before attending Nottingham University. He obtained an honors degree in geography (1957) and then moved to Canada for another BSc in geology at Acadia University in Nova Scotia (1960). He continued with an MSc in geography at McGill (1961), while starting work at Spartan Air Services on various forms of terrain evaluation. This work led him to investigate the use of digital computers to store and analyze geographic information. In the 1960s, he joined the Canadian government as head of the development ...

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