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GIS for Everyone Multimedia CD – April 1, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From the Author
If you would like to learn more about Geographic Information Systems, participate in a dicussion with other readers, or download geographic data about your neighborhood, visit us at www.esri.com/gisforeveryone. Although, the best way to learn what GIS can do is to use it, so buy this book and get started making your own maps. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
David E. Davis is a geographer and technical writer at ESRI. He lives in Highland, California.
Top customer reviews
Books and maps are also going digital. While the advantages of a digital book are not clearly established, the advantages of digital maps are nothing short of breath-taking. That's because when transformed from paper to digital form, maps become enriched with information that simply cannot be included on a paper map. Davis calls these information rich products "smart" maps.
A whole new industry has emerged that deals with smart maps; it's called the Geographical Information System (GIS) industry. A GIS is computer hardware and software for spatial data handling and map making.
The variety of smart maps is so broad that the ambitious title of the book, GIS for Everyone, is not stretching it too far. Davis shows how students, business people, homemakers, and community leaders can use smart maps for school, work, home, and community action with just a Windows-based personal computer.
A computer program is needed to generate, view, and manipulate smart maps and the data they contain. One such program, ArcExplorer, is provided on the CD that is included with the book.
To generate digital maps requires data files that the computer uses to draw streets, county outlines, country boundaries, volcano locations, hurricane tracks, or any other feature or phenomenon that's mappable. The CD includes some 500 megabytes of such spatial data.
Davis guides the reader (and budding smart map user) through a series of thirteen "explorations" of places and spatial situations around the world from San Diego to Prague to Sydney, with stops at New York, Austin, and Rio de Janeiro. (Additional data, for the reader to explore on their own, are provided for other places such as Yellowstone National Park and Bucharest, Romania.)
The reader is encouraged not only to try his or her hand at exploring a variety of mappable environmental and cultural data and display the resulting smart map(s) on a computer screen but also to print, e-mail, or present the smart map on a web page.
Davis helps the reader/world explorer into the new world of smart maps by focussing on specific themes. In chapter 2, the theme is understanding digital maps. Chapter 3 focuses on finding answers with digital maps. In chapter 4 Davis shows the reader how to tell stories with digital maps. Chapter 5 helps the "reader" build digital maps and the final chapter, 6, helps the reader find additional data sources available on increasing numbers of web sites.
So, if you're interested in exploring your world and beyond (there's a satellite image of Mars on the CD), buy this book and start working with smart maps ASAP!
The book is a great introduction for those who want to have a more or less thorough tour of what a GIS is capable of. Being an ESRI press book, it was more or less obvious that its only approach was goin to be through ESRI products (ie. ArcExplorer)
Anyway, the book only shows what can be done with the already processed, already "ArcMade" datafiles. It fails to explain anything else of the GIS creation process.
If you're looking for a technical book, forget it.