A Primer of GIS


The idea behind this book is simple: to put in the hands of people interested
in geographic information systems (GIS), geographic information science,
and geospatial science and engineering a book that provides a broad preparation for later work with geographic information, regardless of background.
Accordingly, this book explains, with a pragmatic approach, the concepts
and practices of geographic information that underpin GIS. It covers what
and how geographic information represents, analyzes, and communicates
about human and environmental activities and events on our planet.
In order to serve a broad array of readers, this book has four parts that,
read sequentially, build on each other to offer a successively deeper understanding of GIS. Part I introduces the most basic concepts of cartography
and GIS; Part II goes into more detail to offer an overview of the fundamentals of cartography and GIS; Part III focuses on specific techniques and practices; Part IV looks at geographic information analysis and sketches out some
of the exciting new GIS developments. Each part, or individual chapters, can
be read separately or together with other parts or chapters for courses, seminars, training, and workshops to learn about specific conceptual or practical
Most readers should start with the first chapter to make sure they understand the key concepts of geographic representation and cartographic representation. The other parts and chapters can be read as an instructor suggests
or as fits your needs best. Given the breadth of GIS and the diversity of people reading this book, and its modular structure, some parts of the book
repeat other parts: the repeated material may be well known to some readers, but useful to other readers who need different explanations.