Top critical review
17 people found this helpful
Nicely produced but disappointing content
on June 6, 2003
I am having a hard time imagining who this book would be useful for. If you are new to GIS, the explanations are pretty dry and contain a good deal of jargon, and there are absolutely NO examples or how-to's. You cannot read this book and expect to learn to do even the simplest operation in GIS. Moreover, without concrete examples, its hard to conceptualize how it all fits together. On the other hand, for someone like me, pretty familiar with basic GIS but wanting to get into more depth, it was too elementary and repetitive. For example, I can't count how many times the author says there are 3 basic kinds of data in a geodatabase... Except for the last 3 chapters (rasters, TINs and location finders) there was little I didn't already know, at least intuitively.
The book is very nicely produced, however. It gives the feel of Powerpoint slides plus the narrative you would hear if you went to an ESRI workshop. Literally every piece of information is explained both graphically and in the text. And of course as software books go, its not too expensive. However, you can get most of this information for free, from the extensive help files that come with ArcView -- plus examples and how-to-use-the-software instructions.
If you're just getting started with GIS, there are lots of getting-started books out there. If you need a lot of depth, try Zeiler's ArcObjects 2-volume set (yes, same author, but much more meaty).