Applying Geography Everywhere: Ten Big Ideas

A new hands-on website and a print book help seasoned GIS practitioners and newcomers to GIS learn to make GIS web maps, work with mobile apps, and much more.

Cover image courtesy Stamen Design.
People around the world are discovering that online maps do more than direct consumers to stores or help travelers navigate from point A to point B. Maps communicate important information that help organizations make decisions. That’s why Esri published The ArcGIS Book, an easy to comprehend guide to learning 10 big ideas about web mapping and how to use the Esri ArcGIS platform to put those ideas into action.
The ten big ideas explored in The ArcGIS Book are:

  1. Maps, the Web, and You: Power and possibility with Web GIS
  2. Cartography is for Everyone: New ways to make, see, and use maps
  3. Tell Your Story Using a Map: Inform, engage, and inspire people with story maps
  4. Great Maps Need Great Data: Creating and using authoritative geographic data
  5. The Importance of Where: How spatial analysis leads to insight
  6. Mapping the Third Dimension: A change in perspective
  7. The Power of Apps: Focused tools that get work done
  8. Your Mobile GIS: The GIS of the whole world plus a live data sensor in your pocket
  9. Real-Time Dashboards: Integrating live data feeds for managing operations
  10. GIS is Social: Web GIS is the GIS of the world

“Web GIS is collaborative: geography is the key, the web is the platform,” says Jack Dangermond, Esri President, in the opening chapter of the book. “What makes Web GIS such an interesting and useful technology is that you can integrate datasets from different data creators into your own view of the world. You can then make maps and geographic information available throughout an organization, across a community, and openly on the web.”
In an interesting and interactive way, The ArcGIS Book shows readers how to create and share geographic information system (GIS) web maps, use new smart mapping capabilities in ArcGIS to make beautiful and well-designed maps, tell compelling stories with story maps, conduct spatial analysis, make 3D web scenes, work with mobile GIS apps, and much more.
Interspersed throughout The ArcGIS Book are short essays by thought leaders such Dangermond, Clint Brown, Director of Software Products at Esri, and Allen Carroll, program manager, storytelling for Esri and former chief cartographer at National Geographic. Each chapter also includes an ArcGIS Lesson readers can access online. They can put what they learn into action using Esri-provided data and ArcGIS. They will get hands-on experience in all aspects of web GIS, including crafting a story map, conducting spatial analysis, editing geographic data, and building a 3D model. The book also inspires the enthusiastic and visionary mapper, providing links to hundreds of live examples of web maps and apps and videos of thought leaders explaining how to adopt web GIS concepts.
The ArcGIS Book was written for a diverse audience, including GIS professionals just venturing into the new world of web GIS and information workers from many fields who recognize that maps play a pivotal role today in clearly communicating information. The book also serves as a perfect introduction to web GIS for managers and executives interested in knowing more about how maps can help them make sound business decisions for their organizations.


The ArcGIS Book was edited by Christian Harder, a writer at Esri and the author of several books about GIS including Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Project Workbook, Second Edition, published in 2013 by Esri Press.
The ArcGIS Book  is available in print (ISBN: 9781589484498, 152 pages, US$19.99), as a downloadable PDF, and on an interactive web site at The book is available at 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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