GIS Bookshelf

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

By Andrea Wulf
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World winds back the clock to the early nineteenth century, when geographer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt’s scientific observations gave rise to the idea that the earth was “one great living organism.” Author Andrea Wulf’s biography of Humboldt recounts his scientific expeditions, including what he learned during a grueling 1802 trek up Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador. She writes about his meetings with US president Thomas Jefferson and how he deeply influenced people such as Charles Darwin, John Muir, and Henry David Thoreau. Wulf’s recent article in The Atlantic magazine calls Humboldt the “forgotten father of environmentalism.” Wulf shared some of the research she did for the book when she gave the Keynote Address at the 2016 Esri User Conference, where she paid tribute to Humboldt’s contributions to geography, ecology, and conservation. Knopf Doubleday, 2015, 496 pp., ISBN: 9780385350662

ArcPy and ArcGIS—Geospatial Analysis with Python

By Silas Toms
Learn how to be more productive by automating repetitive and analysis tasks in ArcGIS using the ArcPy module. Designed for working GIS professionals as well as students, ArcPy and ArcGIS—Geospatial Analysis with Python builds proficiency with Python scripting from the ground up. It introduces the ArcPy Python module, how to configure the Python environment, and how to write the first script and moves on to complex scripts, working with cursors and geometry objects and the ArcPy Mapping module as well as working with ArcGIS Network Analyst and ArcGIS Spatial Analyst. The author Silas Toms is a geospatial programmer and analyst with a background in GIS analysis for city governments and environmental consulting. In his work as both a programmer and analyst, he learned to use Python and GIS to quickly produce geospatial data and tools and shares these techniques. Packt Publishing, 2015, 210 pp., ISBN: 978-1783988662