Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
I've been actively involved with spatial data and regional systems for more than 35 years, since Peace Corps years in Sarawak ('65-'67) when it became clear that watersheds were the salient definers of human activity and settlement. As a graduate student in Anthropology at Stanford ('67-'72) I came under the tutelage of Bill Skinner, whose work on marketing systems and regional organization has transformed China studies. My own fieldwork ('72-'75) on the evolution of an agricultural region in Nova Scotia needed GIS resources that did not then exist, but during a sabbatical at Stanford ('79-'80) I had the opportunity to work with computer mapping of early 20th century Hungarian census data, and when microcomputers became powerful enough I bought AutoCAD and a digitizer and plotter and started making maps of teaching and research interests, including surname distributions in Nova Scotia. When I repotted myself as a librarian in the early 1990s I wrote a speculative paper on design of a geographical interface for online catalogs. In the mid 1990s (as a Reference Librarian and then Science Librarian at Washington & Lee) I worked on hypertext and Web development, but spatial information was never far from my thoughts. In the late 1990s the evolution of desktop GIS began to catch up with my long-run imaginings. I started to amass an archive of links and thoughts (covering the period May '98-April '01) as I schemed ways to incorporate GIS into teaching and learning across the curriculum.

I generally try to keep track of what I'm doing on a subject in a running log file, a sort of notes-to-myself commonplace omnium gatherum. My current work page attempts to chronicle the spectrum of my projects and activities.

A collection of proposals, reports, RFCs and suchlike, documenting the evolution of my GIS and digital library interests and schemes and summarizing my thinking and activities at specific times, is available.