Professor David Rhind, Vice Chancellor at City University in London, occupies a unique position in the world of cartography and geographic information. He was the first academic to become the Director General of Ordnance Survey of Britain, where he was instrumental in replacing analogue cartography with digital, which served as an inspiration for other countries as well as other entities within Britain. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (Britain’s National Academy of Sciences) and he is an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy (Britain’s National Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities). Has received the CBE award from the Queen and several honorary doctorates for his work as a geographer and cartographer. He remains active in research and publishing and is the author (with three colleagues) of one of the world’s best-selling textbooks in the field, Geographic Information Systems and Science.
Professor Rhind currently chairs the UK Statistics Commission, which advises Parliament and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) on whether Britain’s official statistics are trustworthy. It influences the allocation of many billions of pounds each year.
A former Vice President of ICA, Professor Rhind has been active in the field for many years, and he has served on numerous committees and boards. He has been associated with various academic institutions in the past including Birkbeck College, University of London, and the University of Durham. He also served as Head of the Applications Section in the forward-looking Experimental Cartography Unit, RCA. He has been a visiting fellow at both ITC in the Netherlands and Australian National University.
He is well known internationally as well as within Britain and has served on numerous boards and committees, but he is also a keen thinker within the field, in recent years concentrating on the position and role of cartography in the Information (or Knowledge-Based) Society, especially in the topics of self financing, financial models and the harmonization of the GI and IT fields.
For his outstanding contributions to cartography and geographic information systems and his expansive role in the broader context of the field, for his productive publication record, and his seminal thinking within the field, the International Cartographic Association awards Vice Chancellor David Rhind its highest honors, the Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal.