Cartography // GIS 1.0 circa 1968′

The genesis of Geographic Information Systems was in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with the development of the Canadian Geographic Information System (CGIS).  The “Data for Decision” promotional videos of the CGIS are historical testament to this great work, circa 1968. They are available on YouTube in three parts; Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Much of the CGIS data, in particular the Canada Land Inventory, was recovered from old magnetic tapes and is available on Natural Resource Canada’s GeoGratis. This recover effort is documented in Back from the Brink. I take two lessons from these videos; (1) data is relevant because it serves a policy or business requirement of an institution and (2) data is timeless and is not tied to the technology of the day.