Modeling Our World: The ESRI Guide to Geodatabase Concepts Paperback – Aug 1 2010
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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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Bottom line: If I could do it all over, I'd skip this one.
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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