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Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop [Paperback]

Tim Ormsby , Eileen J. Napoleon , Robert Burke , Carolyn Groessl
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2010 1589482603 978-1589482609 Second Edition, for ArcGIS 10

Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop introduces principles of GIS as it teaches the mechanics of using ESRI’s leading technology. Key concepts are combined with detailed illustrations and step-by-step exercises to acquaint readers with the building blocks of ArcGIS® Desktop including ArcMap™, for displaying and querying maps, ArcCatalog™, for organizing geographic data, and ModelBuilder™, for diagramming and processing solutions to complex spatial analysis problems. Its broad scope, simple style, and practical orientation make this book an ideal classroom text and an excellent resource for those learning GIS on their own. A data CD for working through the exercises and a fully functioning 180-day trial ArcGIS® Desktop 10 software is included.

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About the Author

Tim Ormsby works in product development at ESRI.

Eileen Napoleon is an educational specialist at ESRI.

Robert Burke is a senior instructor and technical writer at ESRI.

Carolyn Groessl was a technical writer for ESRI Press.

Laura Bowden currently works in GIS education at ESRI.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overview but improvements needed Nov. 16 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been teaching with the Getting to Know series since it was ArcView 3 and find the book well thought out and easy to follow. However, this version (for ArcGIS 10) is, as near as I can tell, identical to the previous book for version 9.3 - same exercises, word for word. If there are any differences at all, I haven't found them. The one major exception is that the previous version came with a CD with a 6 month licence for ArcView 9.3 and this does not - you have to download the trial version from ESRI's website. I'm not sure if that is better or not - obviously not good if you don't have high speed internet.

The one major improvement the text needs is some "homework" exercises at the end of each chapter, similar to those used in the GIS Tutorial: Workbook for ArcView 9 series. I have created my own for the Getting to Know book, using local data, but it was a tremendous amount of work. If you were using this as a self-teaching text, the exercises would be invaluable.

The other complaint I have about the text is the sequence of some of the chapters. For instance, the chapter on geodatabases should be moved to somewhere near the beginning of the text (I have my students do that chapter right near the start) because any assignments they do, you want them to create directly into a geodatabase rather than have to redirect the pointers to all the file locations later. I would move the geocoding chapter to a point later in the text, too.

Finally, the old GTK ArcView text contained a digital version of the text that the students could access on their computers in the lab.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great way to learn ArcGIS 10! Dec 30 2010
This is a really good book. I worked through the chapters in about a week and was amazed at how many new features I learned. The exercises are structured in "real world" tasks like making a poster for the WWF, tracking Amelia Earhart's journey , or a school poster about Africa. I found these narratives compelling and interesting; it made me want to continue working through the book! The data is well structured. The instructions are easy to follow, even to the point of being a little annoying (which is a good thing for people just starting out). The book includes a limited-term license for ArcGIS 10, which is more than enough time to complete the book. While it doesn't cover everything that you will need to know, it is very good start. I highly recommend this book to everyone one who wants to know more about GIS (and ArcGIS), or someone who wants to know what is new with ArcGIS 10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product to learn ArcGIS inner workings. March 18 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good product, need it for school. Easy to understand and work through. Step by step walk throughs on most everything.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and clear June 9 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book has straight forward and linear approach to ArcGIS. It takes a chapter each to introduce the different components of ArcGIS with practical examples and exercises to make the reader more familiar with the programs.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  93 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good learning material but three editions show little change Dec 5 2010
By IanO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I reviewed this title several years ago and highlighted the excellent training material and structure it provides. My view on that remains. However, this book has literally 99% the same content and structure of the earlier editions, so if you are looking for new material you wil be disappointed. The software changes relating to the training examples are largely cosmetic, one or two modified dialogs and toolbars. Nothing of substance.

Also, there is no requirement to purchase this book to obtain the 180-day evaluation software (which is ArcGIS 10 Editor version). Indeed, it is no longer bundled with the book, you have to download the 3.9Gb file, but you also get the evaluation key, so this latest edition is unnecessary.

My advice is, save yourself a whole lot of money, buy an older version and obtain the software via download. There is so little change to the book you will not be disadvantaged. Amazon currently (Dec 2010) has used editions from $17.13.

ESRI Press could have provided an 'update' pdf of changes, but I doubt it would have got beyond a page!

IanO - UK
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ArcGIS Tutorials Galore June 1 2011
By PittsburghRic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is 592 pages of ArcGIS tutorials. If you like tutorials, then this is the book for you. These tutorials will walk you through anything you would ever want to do with ArcGIS, in painful detail. I was new to ArcGIS before reading this book, it's a complex and powerful program. This book is meant to be read cover to cover, unlike most software manuals & books where you can just jump to what you need to learn. So,.. if you need to learn ArcGIS then this book is for you, but if you just need to learn specific tasks/ tools/ functions this is probably not the book that you want.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incorrect title Sept. 9 2009
By A Reader - Published on Amazon.com
This book is not an audio book as titled on your website, rather, it is a book with two DVDs of data and software.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Getting Know ArcGIS Desktop April 7 2009
By Alan M. Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
The software that came with the course materials does not match the written text and examples contained in the text of the book. I am having to try to get information from ESRI to correct the flaws. The exercises beginning in chapter 9 do not work.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent help March 7 2009
By Daniel Gruber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent, very helpful intro to the basics of using ArcGIS (specifically ArcMap in my case). The ESRI documentation that comes with the software was not helpful at all. I was (painfully) learning mostly by clicking on various menus until this book arrived. By referencing the book and its many examples, I've been able to develop my material in a matter of a few hours after spending days making little progress. Expensive but worth it.
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