Yesterday I attended an ESRI (or esri as they now brand themselves) demo of ArcGIS 10, the current iteration of their software.
The main message? A focus on maps and mapping.
This confirms the claim that I made in Mapping that GIS is the current historical manifestation of mapping (ie GIS is part of mapping not vice versa). I wonder if ESRI’s (excuse me, esri’s) message will percolate to users who see it the other way round, and sans a historical sensibility.
Adding: I don’t say this to score points but just to mark a possible shift in Esri’s stance. I think it is ultimately better to see GIS as part of a range of political technologies the state has deployed, including mapping. Wood’s point that mapping is hardly universal (the founding claim of the History of Cartography volumes) but deeply emergent with the modern state has a lot going for it.