A Primer of GIS: Fundamental Geographic and Cartographic Concepts

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This pragmatic book introduces key concepts and skills to prepare students to understand and use geographic information systems (GIS). The text thoroughly explains what geographic information is, how it is represented and analyzed, and what it communicates about human and environmental activities and events that take place on our planet. Basic principles of map making and map reading are integrated with discussions of relevant information technologies and applications. Written in an accessible style, the text is organized into four parts that can be used in any sequence in entry-level and more specialized GIS courses. User-friendly features include practical examples and exercises, engaging vignettes, and helpful Internet resources.

About the Author:
Francis Harvey is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota

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Editorial Reviews

International Planning Studies

"An important contribution....Provides the beginner as well as the more advanced GIS user with the knowledge to bridge the gap between the conceptual and the practical in GIS....The chapters and parts have been written so they can be read separately or together and can easily be adapted by teachers to provide the basics for an introductory module. Each chapter concludes with a series of review questions....These questions could be used by teachers as part of class test exercises to ensure that students have followed the discussion in each chapter. Each chapter also has a short list of recommended readings and web resources allowing students to follow up issues in more detail. Each chapter is helpfully illustrated to enhance the students' learning experience and the book contains fifteen colour plates in the center....The concepts, principles, issues, and applications covered in the book are important to all aspects of GIS related planning issues in all parts of the world, and most students, teachers, and practitioners will gain valuable insight from this book, particularly those without a background in GIS or geography."--International Planning Studies
From the Publisher

"This much-needed text conveys the vast potential of GIS to transform information into knowledge. Harvey understands that GIS is the next-generation scientific framework for understanding complex problems--from global climate change to spatial networks of disease transmission--and he effectively communicates the basis for these analyses. A Primer of GIS brings spatial information and analysis alive for students and contextualizes it in the real (wired) world. This is an ideal introductory GIS text, and one I will certainly use in my classroom."-Nadine Schuurman, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

"By teaching about GIS principles without teaching GIS, this introductory text addresses an underserved niche. It presents fundamental concepts with intelligence and depth while remaining accessible to beginning and future GIS users from varied disciplinary backgrounds. With an entire chapter on map misuses and a robust discussion of the future of GIS, the primer is clearly more than a guide to understanding the technology. It bridges conceptual and practical areas of knowledge; for example, taking readers from basic cartographic concepts to an initial exploration of specific areas of application like GPS and lidar."-- David Tulloch, Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593855666
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/7/2008
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 7.27 (w) x 10.06 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis Harvey is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota. He has also worked at the University of Kentucky and at a variety of academic and professional positions in Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and has taught GIS courses in other academic and professional programs around the world. His research is wide ranging, with a current focus on governance of land and spatial data infrastructures.

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Table of Contents

I. Communication and Geographic Understanding

1. Goals of Cartography and GI: Representation and Communication

2. Choices in How to Make Representations

3. GI and Cartography Issues

II. Principles of GI and Cartography

4. Projections

5. Locational and Coordinate Systems

6. Databases, Cartography, and GI

7. Surveying, GPS, Digitization

8. Remote Sensing

9. Positions, Networks, Fields, and Transformations

III. Advanced Issues in GI and Cartography

10. Cartographic Representation

11. Map Cultures, Misuses, and GI

12. Administration of Spaces

IV. GI Analysis: Understanding Our World

13. GI Analysis and GIS

14. Geostatistics

15. Futures of GIS

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