[Note: The Java applets on this page behave erratically in Netscape 7 (MacOS X).]


You may view excerpts from some of the above documents.

Faculty, Staff and Students at Western University may be interested in the complete set of HyperCard and SuperCard material which is stored on a DVD disc in the Cartographic Section of the Department of Geography.

I have burned SheepShaver and associated apps and files to this DVD. Loading instructions accompany the disc. SheepShaver loads Mac OS 9.0.4 to enable early versions of the apps Hypercard and SuperCard to run. The main "stacks" include material on Economic Geography, Urban Geography and Spatial Futures taught in my courses over the years 1961-1991. A few other commercial stacks related to ecological issues are included.

See the digitized poster session on future communities. Its purpose is primarily to explore the capabilities of WWW though its content, too, may interest some.

For a network view (nodes and lines) of many of the links on this page and elsewhere please visit my Pearltrees site.

A Brief Biography

(From the Departmental HyperCard-based information stack written by Vicki Hood, and updated by RMcD.)

Bob was born in 1926 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, into an army family in Fort Osborne (aka Tuxedo) Barracks. He moved with his family to Calgary, Alberta, where he started school. He also lived in Esquimalt, British Columbia, Kingston and Petawawa Military Camp, Ontario.

Bob has been at Western, as a lecturer and professor, since 1961. His field is economic geography encompassing regional science and futures research: "what if" type questions.

While attending high school in Pembroke, Ontario, Bob served for three years in The Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment, a Reserve Force unit, now redesignated the 1st Air Defence Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. At age 17 he qualified as a Sergeant, Infantry (Reserve Force).He also served in the local Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (#607), becoming its Cadet Commanding Officer. In 2005, in recognition of his service, he was awarded the Army Cadet Service Medal. In his final year of high school, he served as President of the Literary Society (which served as his school's Students' Council). In 1944 at age 18 he graduated from high school (Grade 13) and transferred to the Active Force of the Canadian Infantry Corps and was initially posted to No. 60 Canadian Infantry (Basic) Training Centre in Yarmouth, NS. While underage for overseas service he served as an infantry instructor at Camp Aldershot (A-14 Canadian Infantry Training Centre), Kentville, Nova Scotia. After the war he served in the Canadian Army (Interim Force) and was posted for a short time to The Royal Canadian Regiment, at that time based in the former Officer Training Centre at Brockville, ON. In June 1946 he decided to leave the Army to resume his education and attended Queen's University (civil engineering) and Western (social science) without finding any subjects which interested him. While at Queen's Bob was a member of the Canadian Officers Training Corps and spent the summer of 1947 as an Officer Cadet at the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering at Chilliwack, BC, now in CFB Gagetown, NB.

After his first year at Western (1947-48) Bob re-enlisted in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry when the unit was designated for airborne training in 1948, and completed parachute and glider training. During Jan/Feb 1950 he participated in Exercise "Sweetbriar", the first post-WW2 joint US/Canada major exercise. He served in "C" Company, the para company which jumped into Northway in Alaska to secure the air base there. Shortly after, a chance reading of Global Geography by G.T. Renner enabled him to see the connection between geography and the military. While still a serving soldier, he was selected for university training and posted to Western and registered in 1950 in the second year of the just-launched Honours Geography program. In 1953, he became the first student to graduate from the full honours program. Upon graduation he was commissioned; however, since he had been awarded the COTC Memorial Fellowship in Military Geography he was permitted to continue directly into graduate school. In 1954 he became one of only two students to the present to complete his M.A. in one academic year (8 months)(Thesis: A Military Geography of the Great Lakes Area with Emphasis on Industrial Dispersion and Defence). He recalls that during the early 1950s there were more graduate students than (honours) undergrads in Geography.

After a further stint of regimental duty with the 1st Battalion, PPCLI, in Currie Barracks, Calgary, AB, as platoon commander then assistant adjutant, Bob was considering a career change to something more related to geography, such as Intelligence.

It was during this period (March 1955) that Bob's life changed forever. He met Jean Preston, the love of his life! Charlie Park, a Queen's Own Rifles' officer, was asking around whether anyone (with a car) was interested in meeting some Calgary General nurses. His wife, who was in Montreal, told him of two friends who had recently moved to Calgary and would like to meet some guys. Charlie's car was in for repairs, hence his need for someone with wheels. The girls were coming off duty at 11 p.m. that night. Charlie suggested that they go to HMCS Tecumseh, the local reserve naval base. And the rest, as they say, is history!

And a few decades later:

Bob was seconded the following June to the Joint Intelligence Bureau in Ottawa. The Bureau's staff included a significant number of civilian geographers. His title was Strategic Intelligence Officer (Land Transport).

Bob had his annual leave coming up in September and that would be a good time to visit Jean. So he phoned her and asked her to marry him! Amazingly she agreed so now they had things to talk about during his visit in Calgary. He also called the PPCLI Officers' Mess and requested permission to stay in the Mess during his visit.

During his last year of service in the Army Bob was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) for long service. (For the curious here's a consolidated list of the places to which the Army sent him.)

Bob left the army in 1959 and, inspired this time by reading Location and Space-Economy by Walter Isard, proceeded to Philadelphia for 2 years of training in Regional Science, at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed all the requirements (coursework, comprehensive exams and languages (French and Spanish)) for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. This period coincided with a growing interest within geography in quantitative methods and location theory, and this resulted in his being offered employment at UWO to teach those subjects.

One of the courses Bob developed was a correspondence version of his intramural Economic Geography. As part of this course a text was prepared which spelled out the nature of the "systems approach" which was its theme. Several colleagues recognized the timeliness of this conceptual framework, and suggested that Bob submit a proposal to the AAG's Commission on College Geography which, in the mid-'60s, was actively seeking new approaches to geographic teaching and research. One of his supporters was Michael E. Eliot Hurst of Simon Fraser University who welcomed Bob's suggestion that they collaborate in preparing a submission to the Commission. Their subsequent meeting with that body resulted in a grant to complete a detailed course outline for publication. That was done and in 1968 the published report was distributed by the AAG to its membership.

Another of Bob's innovations was his development of undergraduate and graduate courses in Futures Studies and the Future of Spatial Organization. These courses focussed on the methods of Futures Research and the spatial impact of technological and societal trends. His interest in Futures Research in large measure stems from reading Computers, System Science and Evolving Society by Harold Sackman. From a "futures" perspective, Bob would like, and expects to see, a course in design for geographers. This study would train geographers to design terrestrial systems and include socioeconomic mechanism design and incentive compatibility issues. This view is explored in his unpublished paper "Toward a New Research Paradigm in Spatial Synthesis." He sees a growing interest in problem-solving as consistent with the evolution of geography from a descriptive phase, through an analytical and phenomenological phase complemented by a virtual explosion of interest in graphics (electronic imagery and GIS), toward a prescriptive (design) phase. There may be some movement in this latter direction as some authors see a need for "governing evolution".

In 1971-72 Bob was granted a one year sabbatical leave to develop his ideas for these new courses. So it was back once more to Philadelphia with Jean and their two children, Wendy and David. By the end of the year he had a book-length manuscript which was entitled "Our Changing World." It became the main textbook for his graduate course on the impact of evolving technology on spatial systems. Each student received a copy. It may be downloaded by clicking here. An edited version of Chapter 2 of "Our Changing World" was published as No. 40 in the UWO Geography Department's "Geographical Papers" series with the title "Sensory Shift and Geographic Thought: A Mosaic Approach." Its UWO library web address may be visited by clicking here. A pdf version may be accessed by clicking on SensoryShiftX.pdf.

Another scholar who greatly influenced his thinking was Marshall McLuhan, as is evident in this poem reflecting a rather heretical sentiment! An activist/futurist whose ideas concerning the need for social and economic change also shaped Bob's thinking was Robert Theobald. His ideas on resource reconstruction and a guaranteed income are perhaps more relevant today than when first spelled out some forty years ago.

Bob's interest in Economic Geography, Regional Science and Futures Research culminated in his career research focus - the evolution of the cybernated space-economy. Some of his current thoughts are presented in a paper on the emerging digital environment.

Despite his many years of teaching, Bob still considers his research and computer work a hobby. He also enjoys playing the bagpipes (an avocation he took up in 1979), and is a member of the London Police Pipes and Drums.

Visit some bagpipe sites.! Or you might like to listen to the "Green Hills of Tyrol" while zooming into the Social Science building at Western.

In 1994 Bob created the Geography Department's website. Geography thus became the second department at Western (after Astronomy) to have its own presence on the Web.After a few years this task was turned over to other more able hands.

In 2000 Bob welcomed the opportunity to more actively pursue his long interest in military affairs by becoming a member of the Royal London Military Institute. In 2007 he joined the Vimy Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

An example of his ongoing research is a PowerPoint presentation entitled "Adapting Warfare to Social and Technological Change". It is very much a work in progress and does not reflect his final position on these protean issues.In January 2006 he spoke to RLMI on the topic Networking Brains and Bullets in the Canadian Forces. This latter presentation is available as a pdf file. In December 2006 Bob joined the blogging community with his blog "Re-Envisioning the Military", a by-product of the Military Links page that he maintained as part of the RLMI website until he turned that responsibility over to others in 2015. On April 19, 2012, he presented a video on "New Military Technology." and on January 16, 2013, another video on "The Nature of the Islamist Threat."

Places that Bob (and later, Jean) has lived in or visited for an extended stay may be viewed on a Google Earth mashup.

Web Links of Geographic Interest
Bob McDaniel presents a directory of Web resources about geography. Topics include cartography maps, ecology and the environment, urban/settlement issues. Many (probably majority!) have been moved. Even if the URLs no longer work using the titles in a Google search may still yield useful results.

Click here to go to Web Links.

My father, Richard Thomas McDaniel, was a native of Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland and I have many relatives living there.
If you think you're related then check out the family tree . Click on "Login" link in upper right of the home page. On login page enter account number 314296 and the family password: mcdtyrone. On the next page the family code mc001169 will be selected. Click on SUBMIT SELECTION.
An initial family tree will be displayed with the title: View Selected Family Tree. Below the title is a Menu Bar. Here, for example, click on "List Families", and a box listing all families will appear. Any family you click on will replace the family currently displayed.
When you have finished your visit click on "Logout" in the upper right corner.
The family name may originally have been MacDonnell whose base was the Scottish western island of Isla. Here are some photos taken during my visit to Ulster in August 1999.Our ancestors were part of a large-scale migration to Northern Ireland to become the Ulster-Scots.

If you are remotely interested you can read the citation that accompanied my award of the title of Professor Emeritus on my retirement in 1991.

Go to Bob's Home Page