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A Python Primer for ArcGIS® [Paperback]

Nathan Jennings
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 5, 2011 146627459X 978-1466274594
The automation of geoprocessing tasks is becoming a common practice among GIS professionals. Python is the standard programming language for ArcGIS and other fields such as remote sensing, GPS, spatial modeling, and statistical analysis. A Python Primer for ArcGIS® combines fundamental Python programming structures to help professionals automate common geoprocessing functions. Thorough explanations of programming concepts are included along with user-friendly demonstrations that enable readers to develop programs on their own. In addition, chapters contain exercises and questions that aid in the application of each chapter’s highlighted principles. This book provides a practical approach to a broad range of programming skills using ArcGIS for geoprocessing and map production in the work place.

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A Python Primer for ArcGIS® + Python Scripting for ArcGIS + Getting to Know ArcGIS ModelBuilder
Price for all three: $136.00

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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:

Product Details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146627459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466274594
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustration 1: 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 give 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So-so 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple reorganization of ESRI help files October 27, 2012
By Moon
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awkward and low standard book July 27, 2012
By Wufei
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Info April 25, 2012
By Harry
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost there April 30, 2012
By ArcUser
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rough around the edges June 2, 2013
By S. Ball
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A good learning experience May 18, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You can also take Nathan Jennings online Python class from American River College. It pairs well with this book, which he requires and bases the class on. Some elements such as the cursors have been updated since 10.1 and he hands out his updated chapter on cursors so you can learn the .da cursors as well as the older style ones taught in the book if you so choose.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Illegible!
I am only about about a third of the way through this book, but I feel I have to make a comment now. This book is nearly impossible to read! Read more
Published 3 months ago by ARC
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid book
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.
Published 4 months ago by D. P. Deegan
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting rid of Amazon noodgy review requests...
Daughter had "A Python Primer for ArcGIS" on her wish list, so I bought it. She's happy, I'm happy. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Shikantaza
5.0 out of 5 stars I like it!
I am new to Python and have been to learn a lot just with this book! I disagree with the other reviewers, so maybe you just need to be a little persistent if you don't understand... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ionara P. Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of A Python Primer for ArcGIS
A Python Primer for ArcGIS is a very good introductory text to Python coding. It is well targeted to the individual who has little or no experience with Python. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Thomas J. Stopka
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book for getting started with python scripting in ArcGIS
I bought this book as someone who's been doing some serious scripting with Python in ArcGIS (via arcgisscripting) and is about to migrate to ArcGIS 10.1 and ArcPy (from 9.3.1). Read more
Published 14 months ago by Darren Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Print quality is bad
The print quality is bad. If you really want something of Python on ArcGIS, you should go for another book published by ESRI in 2013.
Published 15 months ago by M. Lee
2.0 out of 5 stars Strange, illiterate, winded, little meat
This book is a poor, poor choice for anyone wanting to learn Python scripting in an ArcGIS environment, or any environment in my opinion. Read more
Published 15 months ago by ReindeerNinja
4.0 out of 5 stars good starting point
A good strating point.
Good examples for entry level programs and basics of map handling. Could take one to a level of a second semster course in GIS. Read more
Published 16 months ago by gjw
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Logan, GIS Cowboy, Virginia Tech
It ain't easy to write a book from scratch, edit it, and self-publish it. This is, by the way, just the first edition. I'm sorry for those who are frustrated by grammar errors. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ben Logan
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