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Media Advisory: Tele Atlas’ Don Cooke Receives ESRI Lifetime Achievement Award


Tele Atlas (FSE: TA6, EUNV: TA), a leading global provider of digital maps and dynamic content for navigation and location based solutions announced that Donald Cooke, the company’s Chief Scientist and founder of GDT, was awarded the prestigious ESRI Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is bestowed annually by ESRI president Jack Dangermond at the ESRI International User Conference. This event focuses on how geographic information systems (GIS) technology can better serve the world and communities, and is the largest GIS event in the world.

“I am truly honored to be recognized by ESRI with the Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Cooke. “I have always been committed to making maps and geographic information more useful and more powerful for commercial enterprises, government agencies and consumers alike. It is humbling to be honored for my work – but there is still more to accomplish in this field, with new technologies changing the landscape constantly and companies dreaming up new ways to use location-based content. It truly is an exciting time to be involved in this industry.”

“It is with great pleasure that we recognize Don with this award, as he is an industry leader and pioneer who remains dedicated to exploring the future of digital mapping and continues to demonstrate a commitment to GIS education with incredible passion,” said Dangermond. “His designs created 40 years ago remain visible today, as the industry continues to leverage his achievements to geocode addresses, navigate routes, and map the world.”

Cooke was a member of the Census Bureau team that developed the method to store digital spatial data known as the Dual Independent Map Encoding (DIME) system in 1967. In 1968 he co-founded Urban Data Processing, Inc., now Harte-Hanks Data Technologies (HHDT), which is a leader in supplying MCIF services and software to banks. Cooke founded Geographic Data Technology, Inc. (GDT) in 1980, which was the major TIGER digitizing contractor in the mid-1980s, and data supplier to the Census Bureau. GDT was acquired by Tele Atlas in 2004 and Cooke remains an integral part of the company as Chief Scientist.

Cooke also served as a member of the National Academy of Science’s Mapping Science Committee from 1989 to 1993. He is a graduate of Yale and studied Civil Engineering Systems at MIT. In 2005, he authored Fun with GPS, an educational guide designed to inspire global positioning services (GPS) enthusiasts and help educators incorporate GPS mapping technology in the classroom and, in 1997, coauthored The History of Geographic Information Systems.


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