Esri Workbook Walks ArcGIS Pro Users through a Project: Finding the Best Place for a Public Park

Redlands, California—A new workbook from Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, gives readers one mission only: locate the best site for a new park in Southern California using Esri’s ArcGIS Pro software.

Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Pro Project Workbook, Third Edition, is an excellent resource for instructors who want to teach and students who want to take a geographic information system (GIS) course that focuses on a single project, incorporates real data, and uses the most up-to-date spatial analysis methods and technology. To find the most suitable location for a public park along the Los Angeles River, workbook readers will use ArcGIS Pro, an ArcGIS Desktop application with advanced 2D and 3D mapping capabilities such as advanced visualization and analytics tools. In addition, they will work with Esri ArcGIS Online, Esri Story Maps, United States Census data, and data provided by the City of Los Angeles. The data can be downloaded from the book’s resource web page.

The textbook first outlines how to frame questions that need to be asked about the park that’s going to be built, the type of site needed, and the demographics of the people who would benefit from and use the park. Step-by-step instructions in nine lessons show readers how to use ArcGIS Pro to explore the project data, select the data for use in the analysis, build a database, edit data, conduct the analysis, build a model to automate the analysis, create a map to present the results of the analysis, and then share the results in a web map.

By the time readers finish the book, they will have completed all the important phases of a GIS analysis project including planning, building a data model, and conducting spatial analysis. They also get to create an Esri Story Map Journal app that shows the best potential Los Angeles River park site locations.

While the latest GIS software drives the site selection process for the Los Angeles River park in this project, the underlying methodology in the workbook is rooted in an Esri textbook that was published more than 20 years ago, before the advent of the web. "[Since then,] there have been huge innovations in geospatial data models and user interfaces—GIS now lives and breathes on the web," wrote Clint Brown, director of software products at Esri, in the book’s foreword. "Yet the need for our users to understand how to organize and think about a GIS project persists."

While this is the third edition of the workbook, it’s the first to utilize Esri’s ArcGIS Pro software. To produce the ArcGIS Pro edition, Esri tapped into the expertise of staff at the University of Redlands in California, including David Smith, spatial instruction manager for the Center for Spatial Studies; Nathan Strout, director of spatial technology for the Center for Spatial Studies; and Steven Moore, director of the Center for Spatial Studies. Additional authors include Thomas Balstrøm, associate professor of geoinformatics at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Christian Harder, a technology writer and information designer at Esri; and Tim Ormsby, a technical writer at Esri who coauthored the first and second editions, which have been widely adopted in GIS programs at colleges and universities around the world.

Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Pro Project Workbook is available in print (ISBN: 9781589484832, 362 pages, US$79.99) and as an e-book (ISBN: 9781589484955, 362 pages, US$79.99). The print and e-book editions of the book can be obtained from online retailers worldwide at or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit for complete ordering options, or visit to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

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