GIS technology has opened up new channels of understanding how the world works. But where did it begin?

Canada may be a large country, but the flight from Ottawa to Toronto is short – a mere hour. Still, in that time, Pratt and Tomlinson struck up a conversation and began chatting about their work. As Tomlinson listened to Pratt describe his plan to collect and synthesize thousands of maps to document the wealth of the vast Canadian landscape, he felt a rush of serendipity. After all, he’d been thinking about the challenge of representing multitudinous data in a map for most of his short career and was on the cusp of programming a computer system for geographic information.