During URISA's 42nd Annual Conference in Reno last month, industry leader Don Cooke was the honored recipient of the prestigious Horwood Distinguished Service Award.

The Horwood Distinguished Service Award is an occasional award given for long-term service to URISA and the profession. This year it was awarded to Don Cooke. Donald Cooke was a member of the Census Bureau team that developed the Dual Independent Map Encoding (DIME) system in 1967. In 1968 he co-founded Urban Data Processing, Inc, now Harte-Hanks Data Technologies. HHDT is a leader in supplying MCIF services and software to banks. In 1980, Mr. Cooke founded Geographic Data Technology Inc, which now employs 550 people in its role as vendor of premium street and boundary databases for Business Geographics and LBS applications. GDT was the major TIGER digitizing contractor in the mid-1980s, and is a CRADA partner and data supplier to the Census Bureau.

Cooke served on the Board of Directors of URISA in the 1970s and was 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.

The Horwood Distinguished Service Award is named after founding member and first URISA President, Edgar Horwood. Horwood was an early pioneer in the field of information systems for local government and admired by all for his intellectual and organizational contributions to URISA. Horwood was the chair of the constitutional drafting committee, giving URISA the "open membership" model that has led to the association's inter-disciplinary organization.

Source: URISA, Dec. 1, 2004