Desktop Geographic Information System (GIS) software gives you the ability to make maps and analyze geographic information. This book provides a foundational level of knowledge for understanding GIS and the open source desktop mapping applications that are available for use, for free, today. Learn about vector and raster data, how to convert data, interacting with spatial databases, creating new map data, geoprocessing, scripting, and more. Special sections include focused learning on the Quantum GIS and GRASS GIS software platforms but other packages are also introduced. The Geospatial Desktop is written by the creator of Quantum GIS, so you can rest assured that you will be led by one of the most knowledgeable authors on the subject.