Survey: GIS Books

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Do you teach a GIS class?  If so, what Introduction to GIS textbook do you use, and why?

Have you taken an Introduction to GIS class that was taught with a well written GIS textbook?

What essential GIS reference books do you recommend?

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Reference GIS Books

Looking to build your geospatial reference library with GIS books?  Listed here are essential books about geographic information systems and cartography.

A to Z GIS
Edited by Tasha Wade and Shelly Sommer – ESRI Press – 2006
Terminology book from Esri Press.  The book contains 243 pages of quick definitions and illustrations. The book also contains a handy appendix that has more detailed explanations and essays on the more complex geographic concepts ranging from the use of labeling in ArcGIS to the benefits of using topology in GIS.

Thinking About GIS: Geographic Information System Planning for Managers
Roger Tomlinson, 2011 (Fourth Edition)
Updated edition.  From the press release: “this book bridges the communication gap between senior managers who oversee information technology systems and technical specialists who design and implement the systems. It provides common ground for both groups so that each clearly understands the methodology needed to implement and maintain an effective GIS.”

Cartographic Techniques

Cartographic Relief Presentation
A press release of note from ESRI is the upcoming reprint of Eduard Imhof’s tome Cartographic Relief Presentation. Out of print for a quarter of a century, this volume continues to inspire cartographers looking to hone their craft. This is one book that serious cartographers should have in their collection.

Four Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solved

Four Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solved

This book by Robin Wilson looks at the mathematical problem of  what is the least number of colors to use on a map so that neighboring countries are always a different color.  The problem was posed on October 23, 1852 by Professor Augustus De Morgan and left unsolved for over a hundred years.

Seven Cartography Book Picks
Brain Pickings has listed seven cartography books considered must-reads that explore the art and science of cartography.  Selections include books about map as art, personal geographies, hand drawn maps, the use of cartography in social activism, maps as oddities, the use of cartography in depicting time, and imaginative maps.  To see which volumes made the list visit: Creative Cartography: 7 Must-Read Books on Maps

GIS and Cartographic Modeling
Esri Press  has republished C. Dana Tomlin’s foundational text, Geographic Information Systems and Cartographic Modeling, originally printed in 1990. The book has been revised and reissued under the title GIS and Cartographic Modeling .

GIS Case Studies

gis-emergency-managementEnabling Comprehensive Situational Awareness
Written by Susan L. Radke, founder and president of Berkeley Geo-Research Group; Russ Johnson, public safety and homeland security director for Esri; and Jeff Baranyi, Esri’s technical lead for the public safety market. – ESRI Press – 2013
Describes the benefits of integrating a geographic information system (GIS) with an emergency management common operating platform (COP).


ArcGIS Books

GIS Tutorial Series for ArcGIS 10
Esri released a three volume tutorial series in 2010 for learning ArcGIS:

GIS Tutorial 1: Basic Workbook by Wilpen L. Gorr and Kristen S. Kurland provides an introduction to geographic information system (GIS) concepts that is easy to understand. The bookcombines ArcGIS tutorials with self-study exercises and guides students through a series of step-by-step lessons to gradually increase their skills and confidence. Students also gain critical thinking skills as they solve problems based on real-world issues.

The second book, GIS Tutorial 2: Spatial Analysis Workbook by David W. Allen, focuses on building problem-solving and spatial analysis skills using the tools in ArcGIS Desktop. The workbook guides users with intermediate GIS skills through procedures for location analysis, change over time, location and value comparisons, geographic distribution, pattern analysis, and cluster identification.

Third in the series, GIS Tutorial 3: Advanced Workbook by David W. Allen and Jeffery M. Coffey explores the full breadth of ArcGIS Desktop capabilities by detailing the more complexfunctions available in both ArcEditor and ArcInfo. It isintended for professionals and students with intermediate to advanced GIS skills.

Each workbook includes data to complete the related exercises and a 180-day trial version of ArcGIS Desktop 10 software on DVD. They are appropriate for both self-study and classroom instruction.

Further GIS Books


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