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A Python Primer for ArcGIS® Paperback – December 5, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1466274594 ISBN-10: 146627459X

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nathan Jennings is experienced in GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS, GIS for web, geospatial technology, consulting, and business systems integration. He is a full-time GIS professional with the City of Sacramento; he has designed and currently teaches courses in GIS Programming, Remote Sensing, Web Map Application Development, GPS, and GIS software at American River and Sacramento City Colleges in the Los Rios Community College system in Sacramento. Mr. Jennings has worked in the private sector both nationally and internationally in natural resource management, in government organizations and agencies, as a consultant for public and private organizations, and as an adjunct professor. Nathan has a passion for learning, teaching, and honing his craft. When Nathan is not working for the City of Sacramento or teaching, he can be found on the hiking trails in the Sierra Nevada mountains and along the Pacific coast or gardening in his back yard. In an alternative state, he attempts to keep up with his family and a motley collection of pets. See his website for more details: www.jenningsplanet.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146627459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466274594
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

He (very poorly) stumbles along trying to explain concepts.
ReindeerNinja
I used this book after the 'Python Scripting for ArcGIS' book and it filled in a lot of gaps and incorporated more pure python techniques.
D. P. Deegan
I hate it when there are grammar errors in scholastic books.
Anna Barendt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Anna Barendt on August 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate it when there are grammar errors in scholastic books. (I worked my way through this book this summer (2012) as part of an independent study through a local college. If there are grammar errors, then I don't trust anything else the author has written because it could flat out be wrong. So, if something didn't work I had a hard time figuring out if I did something incorrectly or the author flubbed it--spent too much time on that one issue.)

Frustration 2: Implied: "We can teach you to do this, even if you don't know Python or how to write code." Umm, right. I had a clue, as I know VB 2010 and Java, and ran into roadblocks; for someone with no clue, not good.

Frustration 3: Someplace in the book there was a statement something like, "You should have a good map template if you want to create script to manipulate it." Okay, and how/where do we learn to do that?

Frustration 4: There were no hints of what to do if something didn't work. Basically, "here is my template, fill it in (from the examples), and there you go." (Life, ArcGIS, and Python are never that simple).

Frustration 5: No index. (Else I would give you the precise quote and page number re templates.)

Did like that the code was given for the try: and except: blocks, because that is a higher concept of coding and can be crazy to write.
Did like the discussion re progression and flow of code in the early chapters and creating the code outline/skeleton.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Navigator on March 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is riddled with typo's and gramatical errors. Apparenty, in the rush to publish, they failed to proof read the text. It has a lot of talk with little action. You may want to wait for a better written and organized book. Unfortunately, there is little to choose from regarding GIS and Python.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wufei on July 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book has an awkward way of describing and presenting cases and examples. Mostly it keeps referring to ArcGIS Web Help for more information on certain topics. This feels like a very low standard for what could have been an excellent book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Moon on October 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book seems to reorganize ESRI help files. The examples are too poor to use in GIS project directly. It covers a little further than using the toolboxes in ArcGIS desktop. Python programmers having little experience related to ArcGIS Desktop might benefit from this book to understand how toolboxes can be scripted in python, but I would recommend you to read the ESRI website.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ArcUser on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have learned a bit of python for my current position and used some of the modules in ArcView as well to improve workflows. Previous reviewers have discribed this as a book which will introduce programmers to ArcView and ArcViewers to programming. I hope future incarnations will provide additional problems and less author explanation, more like a math or english primer. Of the individuals I have talked to that are ArcViewers interested in programming, many simple problem sets are better for understanding than a few moderately difficult tasks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Ball on June 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book seemed oh-so-promising. But it isn't quite ready for prime time. When I bought it, it was the only ArcGIS/Python book out there, but now there are other options that are much more polished.

The book is easy to follow, and I picked up a few useful tips. (I was experienced with ArcGIS, but new to Python.) However, I quickly became frustrated. For many issues, the book advises referring to the Python or ArcGIS help files. Not necessarily a bad suggestion, but I don't need a book for that. The writing style is long-winded with numerous errors. And to cap it all, there is no index, which makes it almost impossible to use the book as a reference.

I didn't realize when I bought it that this book was self-published. Unfortunately, that shows.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harry on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book has good information and is structured well, but the graphics are the very hard to read. All the ArcMap screen shots are faded and look like poorly copied pages from another book-- a little hard to clearly see and understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ReindeerNinja on April 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a poor, poor choice for anyone wanting to learn Python scripting in an ArcGIS environment, or any environment in my opinion. The author uses extremely strange cases, starting in Chapter 3, to make points. He takes what is typically an easy case of creating string variables and turns it into an absolute nightmare. He (very poorly) stumbles along trying to explain concepts. He refers constantly to ArcGIS Help, Python.org, and "external sources", all of which are scores better than this book.

If anything, I feel this book might even set a novice back. He goes on and on and on and on about topics and oftentimes it felt to me as if he was just blabbing on to fill page space. The book is absolutely filled with grammatical errors. Wayyy too much talk, wayyy too little application. 2-star because the book wasn't quite bad enough to earn the onesie.

You are better off exporting code out from Model Builder, and self-learning via ArcGIS Help and python.org, which he cites at least a hundred times in his book. Was written with good intentions, though.
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