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Modeling Our World: The ESRI Guide to Geodatabase Concepts [Paperback]

Michael Zeiler
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2010 1589482786 978-1589482784 Second Edition, New edition

Modeling Our World presents a complete survey of the geodatabase information model. Updated to reflect recent changes in ArcGIS software, this book explains how to use geodatabase structural elements to promote best practices for data modeling and powerful geographic analyses; how to use rules and data properties in the geodatabase to ensure spatial and attribute integrity; how to manage your organizations work flow; how to scale geodatabases from small projects up to multiple departments across a large organization.


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About the Author

Michael Zieler is a designer for ESRI. He has more than 20 years of experience diagramming GIS concepts, building data models, and programming. Zeiler authored the first edition of Modeling Our World and Inside ARC/INFO (OnWord Press, 2000).

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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star Sept. 23 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
good for reading but no insight details about GIS Concepts
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modeling GIS Sept. 13 2010
By GIS Trainer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When you think of GIS and understand how it functions people tend to look at the tools (aka toys) but the Geodatabase concepts really get to the foundation of what you need to get started. Of course it is boring compared to the tools but Zeiler and company do a good job here communicating graphically and in words the reality we see in the world and make a good transition to the abstractions of the geodatabase. The LIDAR section was great and this book is a good reference to have when you are working with various data models. It would have been five stars but in the raster section they should have mentioned gps photographs. With several gps cameras on the market the author simply says that photographs do not have a spatial reference.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High-level concepts, not much meat. Jan. 25 2014
By penguinboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I partly question the purpose of a book like this. In my experience with learning GIS, by far the most effective way to learn is by doing. This book is not about doing. As the title suggests, it is about concepts only, and offers no practical exercises. I find that reading GIS theory gets me nowhere. Maybe it's because I'm a spatial thinker, one of the reasons I love GIS. At any rate, this isn't a book for self-teachers, but it might help with the basics if you are taking a class with a good teacher.

Bottom line: If I could do it all over, I'd skip this one.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars College-level collections will find it a powerful pick Oct. 18 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
The second updated edition of Modeling Our World: The ESRI Guide to Geodatabase Concepts describes the key modeling concepts of ArcGIS and how GIS data is organized and applied. From using coordinate systems to align geographic datasets to using rules and working with location data and mapping, this is a powerful survey packed with applications for geodatabase elements. College-level collections will find it a powerful pick.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 9 2014
By thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An important book for GIS projects.
4.0 out of 5 stars Broad and informative, but occasional readability issues July 7 2013
By Watch the Dot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Modeling Our World is likely the most authoritative text currently available about geodatabases. The sheer amount of information here and breadth of topics covered make it an excellent reference for anyone in the GIS field. Given its publication date of 2010 I was concerned the text would be out of date, but it turns out that's not the case. This is strictly a reference book. There are no exercises requiring a certain edition of ArcGIS software to complete, nor are there any how-to guides with screenshots explaining how to perform a task. The text simply discusses the overarching concepts in geodatabases. Projections, versioning, linear referencing, geocoding...the ideas behind all of these and more will not change, even when the software does. Perhaps the final chapter, which includes some Python code, will become (or maybe already is) outdated, but even then it would only affect 4 pages and still wouldn't change the fact you have to import a module or specify a workspace.

With that being said, the book's not perfect. Chapter reviews only appear at the end of the longest chapters, but having these at the end of every chapter would be better. A glossary would also be helpful considering how much is covered here, but there isn't one. Including 3 or 4 review questions about the major themes at the end of a chapter would help readers retain information, but there aren't any. Typos are fairly common, and sometimes the wording is confusing, requiring the reader to review a sentence multiple times to truly understand what the author is trying to convey.

For an example of the wording issue, see the first sentence of page 208:

"You use mosaic methods in a mosaic dataset to control what raster data is presented each time a mosaic (from the mosaic dataset) is displayed."

It's not that passages like this have any kind of technical error, it's that in the interest of being as precise as possible by eliminating pronouns and condensing everything into single sentences they've become unnecessarily hard to read.

Still, none of this negates the fact that overall the book is informative and useful. Full-color charts, diagrams, and tables appear throughout it. It's well organized, and outside of ESRI's online help pages you're unlikely to find anything on geodatabases this thorough. Modeling Our World explores the possibilities of ArcGIS and yet still only begins to scratch the surface - the numerous analyst extensions and spatial statistics barely noted here. The concepts aren't limited to a single version of the software, and given how it discusses them this book would likely be useful to users of other GIS software as well.
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