Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems

Prentice Hall
Keith C. Clarke  
Total pages
April 2010
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Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems
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Designed to make the complexity of this essential high-tech field accessible to beginning students, this text provides a basic, non-technical, and student-friendly introduction to geographic information systems. In one convenient source, its comprehensive, integrated coverage examines the basic GIS material that is traditionally scattered throughout the Geography curriculum-e.g., in Cartography, GIS spatial analysis, and quantitative methods. Clarke's “learn-by-seeing” approach features clear, simple explanations, and an abundance of illustrations and photos.


Written by world-renowned GIS expert Keith Clarke, who is the series editor for Pearson Prentice Hall's Series in Geographic Information Science.

Clarke's “learn-by-seeing” approach uses basic, simple language augmented with many examples, diagrams, and photographs.

Screen shots from actual software applications illustrate discussions of specific pieces of software.

An upgraded graphics program portrays concepts more clearly and accurately for students.

Chapter-end Study Guides feature point-by-point summaries, topic-by-topic Study Questions & Activities, References, and a glossary of Key Terms and Definitions.

“People in GIS” boxes profile individuals working on some aspect of GIS, and features an interview that focuses on that individual's educational preparation, professional career steps, on-the-job experiences, etc.

* An extensive and updated website contains review exercises, online lab materials, and additional resources.

New to this Edition

• New accompanying Student GIS Exercise Workbook by Indy Hurt provides challenging but interesting GIS and Internet GIS exercises to reinforce topics covered in the book.

A brand-new Chapter 7, On the Surface, discusses the important topic of terrain analysis. With new instruments such as LIDAR and tools such as the Aster GDEM and SRTM datasets, students can now explore terrain analysis on a global scale.

Chapter 6 on Spatial Analysis has been revised to follow one or two publicly-available data sets through the reasoning and logic of spatial analysis, rather than the details of calculations and statistics.

Chapter 9 on GIS functionality includes an updated survey of the growing number of software and server-based tools available.

Chapter 10 has been updated with four new GIS case studies that reflect the trends for how GIS is actually used in the workplace.

Chapter 11 has been revised for currency and examines current and future trends in the field.

Updated information sources and websites ensures that students are getting the most current and accurate data available.

Each chapter concludes with new “People in GIS” interviews with individuals currently working in the field of GIS.

Table of Contents

1. What Is a GIS?

2. GIS's Roots in Cartography.

3. Maps as Numbers.

4. Getting the Map into the Computer.

5. What Is Where?

6. Why Is It There?

7. On the Surface.

8. Making Maps with GIS.

9. How to Pick a GIS.

10. GIS in Action.

11. The Future of GIS.

Instructor Resources