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Experimental Cartography Unit (ECU)

The Experimental Cartography Unit (ECU) was a research unit of Britain's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), initially established at the Clarendon Press in Oxford, in 1967, to advance the art, science, technology, and practice of making maps by computers. The ECU was a phenomenon. Driven by the huge breadth of vision and ambition of its founder, it pioneered numerous developments in cartography and GIS that we now take for granted. Yet it rarely figures in GIS histories, partly because it did not operate in the United States and partly because of the attitude of David Bickmore, its founder, toward the publishing of results.

The story begins in the late 1950s but crystallized in 1963, when Bickmore, then head of the cartography unit at the Clarendon Press ...

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