2010-2020: An Exciting Decade at Blue Marble Geographics
The second decade of the new millennium brought remarkable technological advancement across many industries. Nowadays, it is difficult to conceptualize that the technologies we use daily didn’t exist fifteen years ago. One example is the iPad, a device many GIS professionals use in the field today, which was first launched in January of 2010.
In 2010, Blue Marble Geographics launched version 7.5 of Geographic Calculator. The company also offered a few other products that are now retired, including Geographic Transformer, which transformed vector files for reprojection; Geographic Translator, which translated vector and CAD files; Geographic Tracker, a GPS interface tool for Windows; and TIGER/Line Map Kit, which realigned street features from the MAF/TIGER Accuracy Project.
List of Blue Marble Geographics products presented on the website in 2010. Source: Way Back Machine
In 2011, Blue Marble Geographics came across a fantastic opportunity to acquire Global Mapper and bring its founder and lead architect to the team. Version 12 of Global Mapper was released in April of 2011, and the single-user perpetual license only cost $349.00 then, and customers received a very cool CD kit in the mail!
Screenshot of the home page of Global Mapper version 11.3 in 2010. Source: Way Back Machine
In the next couple of years, the Blue Marble Geographics development team focused on expanding the tools and features of Global Mapper, and in 2013, the Lidar Module was introduced. Light Detection and Ranging, or lidar, is a technology that creates high-resolution elevation models. Lidar data is initially collected as a “point cloud” of individual points reflected from everything on the surface, including structures and vegetation.
There are many uses and applications for lidar technology in GIS, including uncovering lost cities; scanning buildings for quality control; exploring underwater bathymetry; precision farming; managing forest change; flood prediction; terrain suitability analysis, military and defense operations, and much more. Since 2013, many other new features and tools have also been introduced to Global Mapper. The product’s popularity has grown exponentially worldwide, with software versions now available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Turkish, Chinese Mandarin, Korean, and Japanese.
In 2015, Blue Marble Geographics moved into a brand new building in Hallowell, Maine. The company had doubled in size compared to the previous decade and would soon require a second satellite location in Brunswick, Maine.
Blue Marble Geographics Headquarters in Hallowell, ME, USA
In 2016, Global Mapper Mobile was introduced as a robust GIS data viewing and field data collection application for iOS, utilizing the device’s GPS capability to provide situational awareness and locational intelligence for remote mapping projects. As a result, GIS professionals could bring their workflows to the field and collect live data directly in the application.
Global Mapper Mobile was introduced in 2016 as a Free IOS application.
In 2019, the first cases of COVID-19 reached the United States. GIS played an essential role in tracking and helping contain the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, professionals worldwide pivoted to a remote work format due to the need to isolate and prevent the spread of the virus. Blue Marble quickly enabled a remote desktop protocol (RDP) version of their products to facilitate and support customers’ work worldwide. Employees of Blue Marble also worked from home for fourteen months and successfully maintained productivity and helped the company grow during the most challenging years of modern history.
Weekly staff meeting in 2020, when the entire Blue Marble team worked from home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Join us in our next blog as we celebrate three decades of Blue Marble Geographics!
Fifteen Lidar Uses and Applications. GIS Geography. (n.d.). https://gisgeography.com/lidar-uses-applications/
What is Lidar data and where can I download it? U.S. Geological Survey. (n.d.). https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-lidar-data-and-where-can-i-download-it