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Mapping Hacks

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2005

    Tons of mapping tips and ideas

    I really like to look at maps. Perhaps that makes me kind of a geek. Maps can help people understand experiences (like vacations), cultures, and can even help in decision making. Maps are just neat. This book (at over 500 pages!) contained tips and ideas on everything I ever thought about doing with maps, and then some! This book covers so many mapping topics, it¿s amazing. From tools and techniques for determining the shortest route between two points, to labeling your photographs with GPS information, to building a ¿neverlost¿ for your car, to building maps to help in decision making. The book really contains a little for everyone: from basic information to understand cartography, to using your GPS device to show where on the planet you¿ve been. O¿Reilly did a really nice job with the printing of this book, as the whole thing is in color. For mapping applications, that¿s a necessity, and made this book stand above some of the others in this category. Additionally, the author does a really good job appealing to a wide audience and making many of the hacks interesting to as many types of people as possible. I have read some complaints that this book was printed before the Google Maps API became available, but that¿s certainly something that can be covered in the second edition. This is a great book for the mapping hobbyist. The book contains a lot of great ideas, tips, and information on tools to really make the most of creating and using maps in your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2005

    wide audience

    If you are old enough, geography brings to mind globes and large musty maps from the schoolrooms you attended. But there has been a huge qualitative change in geography. Quite appropriate, perhaps, as we are now in the 21st century. This book describes what can happen when you have GIS available. It sits squarely at the intersection of computer programming and geography. Intensely and inherently visual. Granted, most of the hacks involve a modicum of programming. But typically the output is a map of some kind. Which broadens the appeal of the hack, because the visuals can often be interpreted and used by a wide audience. Whereas, in many other O'Reilly Hacks books, a hack might be very specialised. You may want to pay especial attention to the hacks involving GRASS. This is a huge geographic analysis package that is perhaps the analog of Oracle or DB2 in databases. The hacks can be used as a learning device, to get familiar with GRASS. This is not really for the person casually interested in some simple geographic hack. But for someone who wants to do serious geographic analysis.

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