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Punch Card GIS: The Canada Geographic Information System

The Canada Geographic Information System (CGIS) was developed in the 1950s and 1960s to assist in regulatory procedures of land-use management and resource monitoring. At that time, Canada was beginning to realize problems associated with its seemingly endless boundaries, in combination with natural resource availability.

The government therefore decided to launch a national program to assist in management and inventory of its resources. The simple automated computer processes designed to store and process large amounts of data enabled Canada to begin a national land-use management program and become a foremost promoter of geographic information systems (GIS) (ref wikipedia).

The movie below is the second of a three part documentary on the system, it details the digitising process beghind the CGIS and provides an insight into how anywhere in the world can be located using 'numbers':

You can recreate the 1960's experience by loading up ArcMap and making 'beeping' noises while punching small holes in a business card.

Take a look at the other parts via YouTube.

Thanks go to Patrick Weber for sending round the link.

1 comment:

  1. I'd heard that any use of ArcMap led to bleeping noises. Boom, boom!