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Desktop GIS: Mapping the Planet with Open Source Tools 1st Edition

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1934356067
ISBN-10: 1934356069
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This book is out of print and has been updated, revised, and published with a new title: The Geospatial Desktop. It is available on Amazon.

About the Author

Coming from a natural sciences background, Gary Sherman has been torturing computers and programming languages for years. Gary has been using and customizing Geographic Information Systems for well over 16 years. In 2002 he founded the Quantum GIS project, an Open Source desktop GIS application for viewing and editing data. Gary lives and works in Alaska and commutes virutally around the world via the Internet.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (November 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356067
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,430,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Sherman has a wide and varied background, including that of geologist, mining engineer, software engineer, and author. He has authored both technical books and articles, as well as fiction. In addition to being the founder of a successful open source GIS project, Gary has published two books on the topic.

When writing fiction, he draws on the depth of his background, providing vivid descriptions of life on the last frontier, wildlife encounters, and survival. Further, his experience as an outdoor enthusiast provides inspiration in the stories he tells.

Gary resides in Alaska and regularly watches moose from his living room window.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Dylan Beaudette on November 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book "Desktop GIS: Mapping the Planet with Open Source Tools" is an excellent resource for students and instructors in the field of GIS-- or the interested amateur cartographer. Most courses in spatial analysis and map-making are taught using expensive, proprietary software packages that are only available at universities or large consulting firms. Open source GIS software, while widely available, is not well known or used outside of a relatively small circle of power users. Getting up to speed on open source GIS applications used to require a tremendous time investment reading documentation, and asking questions on mailing lists or IRC. This time investment was a series limiting factor for many potential users of open source GIS software.

"Desktop GIS" fills this long-standing gap in the form of example-based and task-oriented documentation. The format of this book should appeal to a wide audience, as it can be used as a flip-through reference or can be read cover to cover for a more comprehensive overview. Already I have leant this book to colleagues seeking more information on QGIS, GRASS, and R integration. This book, and others like it will certainly empower interested users to answer spatial analysis questions and make beautiful maps- without being tied to expensive annual license costs.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. A. Wood on December 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Desktop GIS: Mapping the Planet with Open Source Tools is a book I have already recommended to several people and organisations around the world who are starting out with GIS.

For anyone looking to explore or map data, from hobbyists to serious biologists, ecologists, etc, this book is the ideal introduction to GIS. It presents the underlying concepts of GIS in a chatty, easy to understand style, and introduces a range of freely available software tools which will enable virtually anyone to map or analyse their data, from beginners looking to plot data on a simple desktop map, to those who wish to carry out sophisticated spatial analyses, this book presents a range of solutions covering them all.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Henri De Feraudy on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is not much choice. If you want to use free GIS software and you are starting out, you'll pretty much need to buy this book to get an overview of the possibilities.
Not that it's perfect, the book is necessarily a little outdated now, since the versions of such software such as Quantum GIS are no longer version 0.9 but 1.02 for the stable version and 1.3 for the development version.
But heck it's not the bells and whistles that count, it's the overall picture so you know where to look.
This covers a lot of different FOSS GIS applications, like GRASS UDIG, QGIS,OpenJump and others, but it gives most attention to GGis and Grass, which is not surprising, given the author is the person who started QGis and it works with Grass.
I would have saved a month of time had I started with this book rather than pester people on forums.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt on March 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
It is a great book, with in introduction to a lot of OSGIS tools. But it used to have a retail price of $34.95. Now it is priced like a college textbook.

It is a 5 star book for the price I paid.
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