David Schell's Recent Lifetime Achievement Award

David Schell, founder of the OGC, was at the top of the list of recipients of geospatial leadership awards at the Geospatial World Forum 2012, held 23-27 April in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Forum organizers focused on his role in transforming the geospatial industry through a consensus standards process.

I'm delighted that his contribution has been recognized. In addition to Geospatial World Forum's Lifetime Achievement Award, he has received the CIO Magazine's "CIO 20/20 Vision Award", the 2011 Esri "Making a Difference” award, and GeoTec Media's 2007 Visionary Achievement Award. I am also delighted, and we are all fortunate, that David continues to be involved as Chairman Emeritus and Chief Strategist for the corporation.

In 1986, when I was working for David in the marketing department of MASSCOMP, a small Unix workstation company, we both had our introduction to the world of GIS software. That was the beginning of a long, interesting and rewarding journey.

David emphasized in his acceptance speech that it is the contributions of many people who have made OGC a success. That's true, and he has always been the first to point it out. One of the reasons I feel so fortunate to have been a part of the OGC over the years is the quality of the people in the OGC community – staff, members, board of directors and others. I think we all share the feeling that creating better ways of sharing information about our home planet is a worthy goal, and I think people's better natures come to the fore when working with others who are pursuing a common and worthy goal. 

David is the one, however, who is most responsible for this wonderful sandbox in which we play. 

See the video of David accepting the award, courtesy of Geospatial Media and Communications and the Geospatial World Forum 2012. Also, see our OGC History web page for a preface that includes paragraphs written for this blog post that were too detailed to include in this blog post. Those paragraphs will be merged with the other historical content on that page. Our historical account of the OGC is a work in progress, and we invite your additions, corrections and comments!