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GIS Fundamentals: A First Text on Geographic Information Systems, 3rd edition [Paperback]

Paul Bolstad
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 30, 2007 0971764727 978-0971764729 3rd
620 pp / Softcover Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer-based tools for the entry, maintenance, and analysis of spatially-referenced data. GIS are critical to the effective management of constructed and natural resources, and they have been applied in science, business, education, and government to improve our lives. This book provides a thorough introduction to the theory and application of GIS. The book is written for use as a textbook in an introductory course at the university level. It seeks to balance theoretical and applied material, so that students may apply knowledge of GIS in the solution of real-world problems. Topics include an introduction to GIS, spatial data models, map projections and coordinate systems, data entry, aerial photographs and satellite images, GPS, digital data, relational and other databases, vector and raster spatial analyses, terrain modeling, interpolation, cartographic modeling, metadata, standards, accuracy assessments, and a description of future trends.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 620 pages
  • Publisher: Eider Press; 3rd edition (June 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971764727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971764729
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.8 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great basic resource April 8, 2011
I've been a GIS professional for > 12 years, and I don't think there is a better book if you want to know what you are actually doing in GIS operations, particularly at a cost that appears to approximately half or less than alternative basic books. I use ArcGIS every day, and ArcGIS/ESRI books are fine for learning the software. I've found these kind of books useful, but only for telling me how to do things, rather than what I should do, or to troubleshoot problems or understand data I get from various sources. The Arc books have a short shelf life, because the buttons to push and menus to access change with each version of the software (anyone living through the 3.3 to 8.x to 9.x to 10.x knows what I'm talking about), and ArcGIS focused books aren't too useful for the half the market that uses different softwares (QGIS, MapWindow, Manifold, IDRISI, etc. users out there). More importantly, most of those books don't tell you why you're doing something, or how to choose among the various method you might apply.

Bolstad's GIS Fundamentals book is a pretty complete summary of all the important background material you need to use GIS intelligently, e.g., to figure out why your state plane data don't line up, or the difference between an international foot and a survey foot, or when you should use a convex hull vs. a kernel-based influence area. Sure it is a basic book, and you'll have to follow the references to really understand some of the more arcane nuances of GIS, but this book provides a solid foundation. There are chapters on basic data structures, map projections, GPS, images, and digital data which are quite helpful, and a good description of tables and tabular data queries, with great chapters on the basics of vector operations, raster, and terrain analysis.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Detail June 6, 2011
By S.Brown
I was required to read this text for a class to gain a certificate. As someone who is new to GIS, I found this book very helpful in explaining in detail the various concepts. Unfortunately, the level of detail was often the problem with this text. Often there was so much detail, that I found myself scanning through the pages of detail for the major concepts or I else I would lose focus. It is great to understand the foundation of a subject thoroughly before jumping in to the GIS computer programs that have simplified the operations for the user. However, it would be just as beneficial to the reader if the text were more concise, so as to get the point across more deliberately. In my opinion, this text would be much better used as a reference for professionals than as a class text.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great material for first timers. September 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Takes you through the jargons of GIS. A must have for first timer. On the other hand, too theoretical for conversant users.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, dense theoretical reading March 13, 2012
By Pushpin
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was a required text for my graduate GIS course. Being new to the world of GIS, I haven't really used any other texts but I'm pretty sure there are better ones out there and I'm bit baffled at why my program would chose this particular book.

The writing is very dense. And it isn't dense in a good way. The author will go over simple concepts in excruciating detail meanwhile glossing over more complicated material. I suppose it was written in this way to build a good foundation with the basics while touching upon more advanced concepts. In regards, to completing assignments though, I find myself going on the internet to clarify confusing concepts rather than using the book and often times I find contradictory information.

The figures in the book would be helpful if they had a bit more explanation in the narrative.

This book also suffers from poor editing. Charts and graphs use Comic San font (which isn't the most professional font out there and it has gained some chuckles from our classmates). There are many typos and the index might as well not exist. Instead of drudging through the dense material looking for a particular concept, I usually just turn onto the internet because the index is not helpful at all.

If you're new to GIS, this book might not be helpful. However, if you already have some background in programming this book may serve as a good reference. Otherwise, I would pass this text up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A go-to August 4, 2013
A great resource for GIS professionals. GIS is a science; if you just want a book to tell you where to find a button to push in Arc, you're doing yourself a disservice. Get this instead and understand why you're doing what you're doing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book review May 13, 2013
By Elmo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was required for an introductory GIS college course. The introduction begins with basic fact and terminology about GIS. As you read further into the book, it introduces complex information, theories, and process about GIS.
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2.0 out of 5 stars GIS Fundamentals ~ full of typos May 6, 2011
By M Lum
This was a required book for one of my classes. I found it extremely irritating to read, as I've never had a textbook in college with so many typos in it. The information was decent, but I tended to have a hang-up where I would read a chapter and instead of absorbing the information, I would begin to count how many grammatical errors I could find.....and there are a lot.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad choice for a novice July 25, 2011
T was required to get this book for and introductory class to GIS, as a new student to the discipline, I had lot's of troubles catching up with the reading which i guess is intended for everyone but a true beginner of GIS. I had special issues understanding the algebra which does not really explain you what you are doing or how it is useful to the basics of this discipline. I had to take another more advanced class on GIS to start understanding the concepts presented in the book. My recommend, don't buy this book if you are completely new to GIS or if you have troubles with geometry or algebra right away.
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