American Geographical Society Awards O.M. Miller Medal to Mr. John Hanke at Annual Symposium


American Geographical Society Awards O.M. Miller Medal to Mr. John Hanke at Annual Symposium

Description: The O.M. Miller Medal, awarded by the American Geographical Society (AGS), is one of several prestigious honors given by the Society. Mr. John Hanke, Founder & CEO at Niantic, Inc. received the medal on November 17th, 2017 during the AGS Fall Symposium, “Geography 2050: The Future of Mobility” held at Columbia University.

[New York City, NY] – [November 29, 2017] — In recognition of his distinguished work which has changed the use of geospatial information in remarkable ways, the American Geographical Society (AGS) awarded the O.M. Miller Medal to Mr. John Hanke at the Society’s Fall Symposium at Columbia University on November 17, 2017.  Dr. Christopher Tucker, Chairman of AGS, Dr. Marie Price, President of AGS, and Dr. Deborah Popper, Vice President of AGS and Chair of its Honors and Awards Committee made the presentation.

Hanke founded and served as CEO of Keyhole, Inc., a digital mapping software development company, that developed the underpinnings of Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Street View. He founded Niantic, Inc. in 2010 and, as its CEO, has led the company in creating mobile experiences that foster exploration, exercise and social interaction. The company’s first app, Field Trip, intended to get people out observing and learning about the world around them. Niantic has since developed and released two “real world” mobile games, Ingress, which is celebrating its five year anniversary in November, and the global phenomenon Pokémon GO, which has been downloaded more than 800 million times worldwide. Hanke’s vision finds its outlet by taking the technical fields of geomapping and visualization, finding new possibilities within them, and then providing people around the world the chance to experience geography in fun, useful, shareable, and interesting ways.

“Hanke’s involvement in geo-mapping has shown us new connections between the physical and digital worlds and reawakened our appreciation of both,” said Dr. Popper in a recent interview.

John Hanke commented, “it’s an honor to be awarded the O.M. Miller Medal as we continue our mission at Niantic to create interactive experiences using advanced mapping technology that can reveal the amazing secrets often hiding in plain sight in our own neighborhoods, daily commutes and travels.”

The O.M. Miller Medal was founded by the AGS Council in 1968 and acknowledges outstanding contributions in the field of cartography or geodesy. It was named for Mr. Miller whose brought forth new map projections, original survey methods and instrumentation, and pioneered developments in aerial photography, photogrammetry, and new cartographic techniques to geographic science.

The AGS Fall Symposium is one of the most important and recognized geography/geospatial events in North America during the Fall Semester. Attendees include CEOs and senior executives from preeminent geospatial companies along with leading experts and representatives from government, not-for-profits, and academia.

Pictured left to right: Dr. Marie Price (AGS President), Mr. John Hanke (CEO, Niantic Labs), and Dr. Christopher Tucker (AGS Chair).
Pictured left to right: Dr. Marie Price (AGS President), Mr. John Hanke (CEO, Niantic Labs), and Dr. Christopher Tucker (AGS Chair).

The American Geographical Society (AGS) is a 21st century learning society dedicated to the advancement of geographic thinking, knowledge, and understanding across business, government, academe, social sectors, and most importantly with teachers and students. Established in 1851, AGS is the oldest professional geographical organization in the United States.  It is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in geographical research and education for over 166 years.  The mission of AGS is to advance and promote geography in business, government, science, and education. Our goal is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide.  AGS seeks to engage the American public, from its youngest to its oldest citizens, with new and amazing ways to understand and characterize our changing world. The Society maintains its headquarters in New York City.

Contact Information:
American Geographical Society
32 Court Street
Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201-4404
Telephone: 917.745.8354