In this paper, I give a personal view on the development of the field of spatial econometrics during the past 30 years. I argue that it has moved from the margins to the mainstream of applied econometrics and social science methodology. I distinguish three broad phases in the development, which I refer to as preconditions, take off and maturity. For each of these phases I describe the main methodological focus and list major contributions. I conclude with some speculations about future directions.