Here are my notes from meeting Dr. Tomlinson at the 2011 ESRI UC
Dr. Roger Tomlinson among other things wrote a book entitled “Thinking About GIS”. He still attends the ESRI International User Conference and does book signings. I have made efforts to interview Dr. Tomlinson a couple of different occasions. But the “Meet The Authors” sessions have always been concomitant with the Survey Special Interest Group. This year I again observed the long line at the book signing table and adjourned to attend to my assigned duties.
After that session I returned to the Exhibitor Pavilion where I encountered Dr. Tomlinson apart from the madding crowd leaving the (Spatial Outlet) Book Store. That’s when it got weird. He walked up to me and said “Aren’t you that famous Cartography writer?”. I quickly explained it was surely a case of mistaken identity. But if I had achieved any level of “fame” it was due in no small part to my assimilation of his seminal works.
Since the conversation included just the two of us I exercised all of my forbearance to not find a way to turn it into a gauche photo opportunity. So, I didn’t “frame” Roger with my lens (this time).
As I continued on my “rounds” through the Exhibitor Pavilion I recalled this wasn’t the first time a bizarre incident like this has occurred. A few years ago Jack Dangermond did the same thing. I wrote a piece then I titled “You Don’t Know Jack” (since co-opted by Al Pacino and company).
But the chance encounter cemented a piece of advice I received from my grandmother many years ago: “If you want to be successful, make everyone around you feel like he is the most important person in the room.” I suppose the great ones all understand that.