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Whether for screen viewing or for printing, the book would be far more readable if lines were shorter. Generally neutral; appropriate awareness of the cultural frameworks that surround our use of maps. They begin with a general introduction to geographic and spatial concepts and the role of GIS within geography , and proceed to lay out Chapters 6 through 9 are dedicated to visualization and analysis, including selecting, searching and querying data, classifying data, common single- or multiple-layer analyses, raster and surface analysis, and basic cartography color, symbology, map design.

Chapter 10 concludes with an important, albeit often overlooked, discussion about the challenges of effective project management, both in general and as specifically relates to the particularities of GIS projects. Although aiming toward providing a broad overview of GIS, Campbell and Shin also elaborate on a fair amount of subfield specifics, but not so much as to obscure or distract from the central points of interest.

The strength of the book is the emphasis on GIS practice and the actual decisions that lead from conceptualization and project planning to an effective deliverable with useful information. I found no glaring conceptual errors or omissions. The book is generally relevant and up-to-date, as relates to the current ecosystem of common GIS software, hardware, workflows, and functions. That said, technology, data, methods quickly evolve, and the book will need to be updated as-needed.

The structure of the book, especially in the online version, allows for flexible inclusion of new material or elaboration upon specific components of existing material. I was a little surprised that Python was not mentioned regarding development in GIS, especially related to its current role in Esri tool development and general rise in data science. That said, for an "essentials" book that is not focused on Esri software specifically, this omission does not seem that important. The book is clear, and it is evident that the authors write from experience.

Throughout the different sections, a good balance exists between detail and conciseness. The book is consistent in structure e. The book lends itself well to modular assignment of sections, as needed in coordination with lecture or lab topics. There are internal cross-referencing when topics intersect or overlap, but the references do not break the modular cohesiveness of the sections being read, especially in the online version where links are provided and use of the web browser enables easy navigation between sections.

The organization and structure of the subjects in the book are appropriate, beginning broadly with a discussion of geography and spatial thinking, moving on to GIS and maps the most prominent or identifiable aspect of GIS , and finally the complex decision-making processes involved with data management, analysis, cartography, and project management.

The balance that Campbell and Shin strike regarding detail and conciseness on specific topics also plays out well in the overall structure of the book, whereby chapters are split into a few manageable sections each. Overall, the online interface is seamless. Navigation via linear links i.

The charts are simple, appropriate to the subject, and intuitive. Noticed one or two spelling or grammar errors, but overall the writing is professional and enjoyable. In Chapter 1 and 2, the book contextualizes GIS in terms of the ongoing development of social technologies and the related democratization of GIS, which is important for introductory students to understand in terms of the moving ground upon which GIS is evolving.


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Additionally, the authors explore the ideas of bias and generalization, and the responsibility of GIS practitioners in the communication of information through maps. Also, occasionally, the book provides examples of the incorporation of social data into GIS workflows, primarily by providing brief references to data sources for social or demographic data e. No other comments other than I really like this book.

Our current textbook is good, as well, but perhaps too detailed for an introductory class of students using ArcGIS for the first time. This book will be a good conceptual accompaniment to our Esri-based labs. The authors cover a wide range of GIScience that would allow for a core foundation combining geographic abstraction and "spatial thinking," data models and structures, cartographic representation, and importantly, a variety of data sources e.

Some included content is rather surprising, yet also welcomed, such as the strong coverage given to "map anatomy" and GIS project management. Oftentimes other "cookbook" approaches to introductory GIS will omit the vital issues of cartographic principles color, symbology, and design. Fundamental GIS data and analytical techniques are presented very accurately. The conceptual basis of GIS is rooted in geographic and spatial abstraction, which provides for a sound mix of "spatial thinking" applied to actual GIS data.

Terminology is introduced and referred later unambiguously. Currency is an enormous challenge for any textbook in GIScience and Technology. Overall, however, the material presented at a fundamental learning level balances rigour and relevance with longevity.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Map essentials or "anatomy" are critical and timeless in this sense. Raster and vector data models are also time invariant. As compared to some texts, the book focuses on essentials and not the rabbit hole of arcane historic structures e. Unfortunately, LiDAR is not introduced. Spatial data and analytical techniques are quite clearly presented in the text.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Illustrative figures are well chosen and augment the textual content. A few additional graphics might further improve students comprehension of new, abstract spatial structures. This rather limits the fundamental notion of TINs as vector structures with attributes, as well as their intrinsic relationship to topography and surface modeling.

TINs are not mentioned in the vector GIS data structure section nor the single-layer vector analysis section. Though there are moderate gaps in some of the individual sections, overall the content presented is clearly conveyed. The written explanations are easily followed. White space and interspersed figures supporting concepts are replete.

The style and length of subsections allow for one to easily and non-fatiguingly read through chapters. The layout and presentation are quite consistently organized among sections. Between sections, key terms are also unambiguously mentioned. For instance, TINs not presented again after a cursory introduction in data structures, yet they could be reviewed or mentioned again usefully in the vector structures, spatial interpolation, or terrain mapping sections.

The chapter organization balances content and length very well. Ten chapters would conform very well to applications in weekly readings in a course that supplemented the text with other exercises, yet allowing for emphasis or de-emphasis as an instructor chose. No chapters too lengthy or conceptually overburdened.

Some modules could be dropped in actual instructional use if, for instance, an instructor wished to use another source for greater detail. There is very little burden of self-referencing, almost to a fault, as some re-enforcement or application of data concepts might be useful.

Geographic Information Systems as a Career

A logical and cumulative structure of content is used that makes great sense and jives with most other GIS texts and authoritative pedagogical references e. Available as a PDF and online, both formats are stylistically easy to navigate, cogent, and appropriately supported with embedded graphical content.

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The online format is easy to page and refer or jump to alternative sections. The book is free from grammatic errors and would be easy to read and follow from a very wide range of readers. No cultural biases are evident in the book, and there are no national or unusual localized biases toward data structures or sources or terms as sometimes can be found in GIS texts.

Although a few concepts tend toward a light or cursory nature, these are easily augmented by an instructor with other resources.


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  • The book is to be prized for its accessibility, pragmatism, and provision of a rigorous yet easy to follow framework for GIS concepts, spatial analysis, and future learning. I was thoroughly impressed by the comprehensiveness of this book. It covered most of the important aspects needed for an Introductory GIS class - from GIS and mapping basics all the way to project management. The book does not currently have a The book does not currently have a glossary nor an index, which would make it even more useful for instruction.

    Therefore, I highly recommend that the authors include a glossary and index in the next edition. There are several new areas of GIS that were not covered in this book, due to the fact that it was published in , more than 6 years ago. Also, online mapping tools and mashups deserve more coverage in this book. However, I very much appreciated the generality of the book, i. The book was very accurate and error-free.

    Other than that silly error, the text was spot on with terminology and concepts. I have used mostly ESRI books in the past, which of course are biased toward their software platform and data formats. I believe the authors did a good job or presenting the wide array of GIS options, including open-source.

    Much of their information was generalized enough that it could be applied across a wide array of GIS platforms. Because the author's did a good job of keeping the text as general as possible, the relevance of this book was a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be quite out of date, but not so. Of course, several of the links provided in the text were broken and need to be updated. Also, some of the images were pretty old and newer ones could be inserted.

    I think the authors could perhaps review some of the text that refers to specific sources of data, satellites, etc.

    Geographical Information Systems (GIS) - Introduction - University of Gothenburg

    Also, some of the proposed exercises were perhaps a little too specific and might become outdated with new technologies and websites. That is why a glossary would have been oh-so helpful. However, I felt that the terminology was appropriate for an entry level GIS book. Most of the book is very readable and easy to understand, even for a newbie. Perhaps several of the sections could be lightened up a bit, such as the vector data model topic.

    The authors were very consist in terms of terminology and framework. I liked the way they often linked back to previous concepts to show the relevance of the newly presented information. The framework was also very consistent - learning objectives, materials in a digestible chunk not too much, not too little for the most part , basic concepts learned, and further practice with exercises.

    I found the modularity to be on of the best aspects of this book. Some GIS books have very long and complex chapters, and students get lost or distracted. Their chapters and sections are very concise, with clearly stated objectives. Many of the sections are stand alone and not highly dependent on other sections, which is excellent for those of us wishing to daisy chain elements from several books.

    There are so many different ways that GIS instruction can be presented, but I thought their flow was as good as any of the other books I have used. The authors did jump around a bit between raster and vector, so perhaps those two aspects could be presented more cohesively. I thought the interface was fine.

    The pdf file worked great in IBook and was easy to navigate.