When it comes to Geographical Information Systems (GIS), a local Redlands company — Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) — is the industry leader. Their software is the backbone behind many mapping programs including those that are Internet-based. Even so, many local residents barely know the company even exists:

ESRI, the biggest local company you probably never heard of, extends its reach around the world from its tree-lined office complex in Redlands.

… With an estimated $469 million in revenue in 2002 and a dominant share of the market, ESRI is often called “the Microsoft of GIS.” The company is privately held by co-founders Jack and Laura Dangermond, has no debt and has never laid off anyone for financial reasons, company officials say.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – December 14, 2003
2024 - Logo ESRI

Founded in Redlands in 1969, the privately-held company is also headed by very private-minded owners, one of which is a 1963 graduate of Redlands High School:

Jack Dangermond, Class of 1963, isn’t even the best-known guy from his high school, despite starting a company in his mid-20s that now leads the world in the expanding field of geographic information systems. His company helps determine everything from how soon Sears will deliver your new refrigerator to which house you may end up buying.

Dangermond has never been a public person, and the success of his company has not changed that, said Leon Armantrout, a Redlands architect who designed most of ESRI’s growing campus. Dangermond and his wife, Laura, the company’s co-founder, focus their energy on ESRI rather than the social circuit.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – December 14, 2003


  • Riverside Press-Enterprise – Redlands-based software firm leads the way in use of geographic information systems (Dec. 14) | Private citizen as global problem-solver (Dec. 14) | High-tech ESRI’s founder remains true to `my little’ blue-collar town (Dec. 14)

Sources: Riverside Press-Enterprise (PE-20031214)

2024 PAGE UPDATE: Added newspaper citation/insert; added additional context; removed outdated links to newspaper articles; added link to ESRI website to Related content; added logo.

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