Chuck Croner to Be Inducted Into URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame

by | Jul 30, 2014

Des Plaines, Ill., July 28, 2014”The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is pleased to announce the induction of Charles M. Croner, PhD into URISA's GIS Hall of Fame. The honor will be officially recognized during GIS-Pro 2014 in New Orleans this September.

URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame honors persons and organizations that have made significant and original contributions to the development and application of GIS concepts, tools, or resources, or to the GIS profession.

URISA's Hall of Fame laureates include:

  • 2005 Inductees: Edgar Horwood, Ian McHarg, Roger Tomlinson, Jack Dangermond, Nancy Tosta, and the Harvard Lab
  • 2006 Inductee: Gary Hunter
  • 2007 Inductees: Don Cooke and Michael Goodchild
  • 2009 Inductees: Will Craig and Carl Reed
  • 2010 Inductee: C. Dana Tomlin
  • 2011 Inductees: William Huxhold and Barry Wellar
  • 2012 Inductees: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Natural Resources Canada, Statistics Canada, United States Census Bureau and United States Geological Survey
  • 2014 Inductee: Charles Croner

Charles (Chuck) Croner, Geographer and Survey Statistician, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), served as founding Editor of the bimonthly digital newsletter Public Health GIS News and Information (online at ). This pioneering publication, 1994-2006, helped establish the CDC as the lead agency and focal point for the timely dissemination of GIS and public health related developments worldwide. Initially designed for CDC staff, its readership grew to include most U.S. State and local public health departments, and an extensive international audience. Chuck received the highest award from the private sector (ESRI, 2007), and many awards from government, academia and the CDC.

Chuck majored in geography at Towson (BS) and Michigan State (MA, PhD) universities, and studied statistics at Harvard. Prior to graduate school, Chuck served as an Infantry Officer (rank of Captain), and helicopter navigator, in the U.S. Marine Corps. The military served to advance my geographic foundations, both through formal land and air navigation instruction, and instill in me an indispensable perspective of mapping in dynamic time and space.

Although there were only several professional geographers employed at the CDC in 1972, Chuck worked to position the CDC into one of GIS and public health leadership. I believed CDC's outstanding reputation for medical intervention, including life saving vaccines and the prevention of costly infectious and chronic diseases, could benefit further from the inclusion of geography into the emerging multidisciplinary CDC approach to public health science. The timing could not have been better. Through the newsletter, the role of geography at CDC reached nationally and across the globe.

Chuck provided CDC public health leadership as the first Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) representative to the nation's Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), where he served with distinction having guided HHS to member status. Chuck is responsible for the successful development of federal GIS interagency agreements with the U.S. Bureau of Census, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development , to leverage geospatial investments; for creating the first long-term collaborative small area GIS study of minority health between CDC  and Cleveland's Center for Community Solutions (CCS); and, for having contributed to the planning and instruction of the USGS Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Summer Faculty GIS Workshops program.

Chuck created CDC's first GIS Awareness Week, Cartography and GIS Guest Lecture Series, Public Health GIS Users Group, and the Internet GIS Guest Lecture Series. He received numerous career awards for his work with GIS and minority public health disparities. He was tasked by the CDC to help design CDC's first Enterprise GIS Roadmap.

Visit URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame to learn about the path-breaking accomplishments of all inductees.


October Issue 2023