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Getting Started with GIS Hardcover – Jan 9 2003

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Hardcover, Jan 9 2003
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Horribly out of date March 13 2006
By M. Stevens - Published on
As a part time community college GIS instructor, I selected this book as the text for an "Introduction to GIS" course. I should have dug a little deeper and found something better because this book is completely inadequate. My two biggest complaints are: 1) the text is out of date and badly in need of revision. 2) the "free" copy of ArcView that comes with the book is obsolete and worthless.

Part of my reason for selecting this book was the trial version of ArcView that you get with it. I thought my students would benefit from having access to their own copy of the software without having to travel to campus to use it. When I tried to install the application, I immediately ran into problems. I called ESRI technical support and when I told them about the problems I was having, it was all they could do to keep themselves from laughing out loud at me. The version of ArcView that is included is AT LEAST SIX YEARS out of date. ESRI no longer supports that version. I might as well have been teaching my students how to drive a chariot for all the good it would have done them.

When I contacted the publisher with my concerns, the two best suggestions they came up with were: 1) call ESRI for help and 2) the author is working on the 6th edition and it should be ready some time next year. Neither idea was particularly helpful.

As for the text itself, it is rather lean on practical and useful information on the current state of the geographic infomation systems. (WARNING: Sarcasm alert!) My favorite part is the book's discussion of data sources that mentions the World Wide Web as if it is some recently developed phenomena. The book was originally published in 1997 and gives the feeling that it has been on coasting on autopilot ever since. If you are interested in getting started with Geographic Infomation Systems, find somewhere else to start.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good technology book. Limited theory Sept. 18 2004
By GIS Pro - Published on
As an instructor, I appreciated the readable style of this book, and would recommend it as a primer for ArcView 3.x; however, I did have concerns. As I read, I could only agree with many statements if I replaced "GIS" in the text with "ArcView 3.x." Readers should be aware that other products (current and potential) approach the technology differently than it is presented in this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not bad for an intro to GIS Dec 30 2008
By smudgedlens - Published on
This book seems like it would work for an intro class to GIS anywhere from the middle school to the college level (I used it for a graduate level intro course). For the most part, it does a good job introducing broad, central, concepts in GIS without getting too technical or bogged down with detail.

That being said, it also doesn't offer a whole lot to sink your teeth into. Some of the parts are painfully outdated, too. After reading some of the stuff about the advent of the new fandangled world-wide web, I had to check the copyright date. AOL?? Really? I also felt like it did a bad job introducing database concepts. Regardless of these flaws, it does work as an intro text. I am now on the 'Thematic Cartography and Geovisualization' text in the series, and I'm hoping it will be a little more useful.
Simplicity is much needed... Aug. 30 2012
By BAMA - Published on
Verified Purchase
Simplicity is much needed, and much needed, for an intro that is. Any regular person new to the field of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) would find that this text, though containing lots of information, is poorly written and definately makes the beautiful art and/or science of GIS seem rather lumbersome. The author is clumsy, and often goes into tangents - that only those in the field would already be familiar with. I gave this text/book two stars, instead of one, cause the author does make an honest attempt to explain the subject matter, but falls short of making it a good intro.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
useless Feb. 4 2010
By Shi Li - Published on
Verified Purchase
the author teaches in UCSB,I took his class last quarter. it was useless and wasting time. the book is expensive and useless.