Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Project Workbook
The new edition of Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Project Workbook (for ArcGIS 10.1) takes a fresh approach to teaching the essentials of ArcGIS for Desktop. Where the majority of introductory GIS workbooks are organized around the features and functions of the software, Understanding GIS is built around a real-world geographic analysis project.
The problem to be solved is the selection of suitable land for a new neighborhood park in Los Angeles, California. Criteria include proximity to the Los Angeles River, land parcels of a certain size, minimum thresholds for population density and presence of children, as well as median household income levels. Starting data for the project is provided on a companion DVD.
The book guides readers through the best practices for conducting an analysis. First they get an overview of the problem and the study area. Next they assess the data requirements and review the geospatial data provided (in various formats) before selecting the most appropriate layers, processing them as needed, and building them into an Esri geodatabase. After some final data editing, a series of analytic steps are carried out to find a handful of candidate sites. These analytic steps are then encapsulated into a model that documents the methodology and makes it easy to repeat or modify the analysis with adjustments to the input parameters. To communicate the analysis results, the student is next guided through the process of designing and producing a rich cartographic product with inset maps, charts, and other annotation. Finally, in the book’s concluding lesson, the results are shared online and made available to the public at large.