Skip to main content

GIS For Dummies

GIS For Dummies

Michael N. DeMers

ISBN: 978-0-470-52150-2

Mar 2009

384 pages



GIS (geographic information system) is a totally cool technology that has been called “geography on steroids.” GIS is what lets you see the schools in your neighborhood or tells you where the nearest McDonald’s is. GIS For Dummies tells you all about mapping terminology and digital mapping, how to locate geographic features and analyze patterns such as streets and waterways, and how to generate travel directions, customer location lists, and much more with GIS.

Whether you’re in charge of creating GIS applications for your business or you simply love maps, you’ll find GIS For Dummies is packed with information. For example, you can:

  • Learn all the hardware and software necessary to collect, analyze, and manipulate GIS data
  • Explore the difference between 2D and 3D maps, create a map, or manage multiple maps
  • Analyze patterns that appear in maps and interpret the results
  • Measure distance in absolute, comparative, and functional ways
  • Recognize how spatial factors relate to geographic data
  • Discover how GIS is used in business, the military, city planning, emergency services, land management, and more
  • Find out how GIS can help you find out where flooding may occur
  • Determine what your organization needs, do appropriate analyses, and actually plan and design a GIS system

You’ll find dozens of applications for GIS queries and analyses, and even learn to create animated GIS output. Whether your goal is to implement a GIS or just have fun, GIS For Dummies will get you there!

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

Introduction 1

Part I: GIS: Geography on Steroids 7

Chapter 1: Seeing the Scope of GIS 9

Chapter 2: Recognizing How Maps Show Information 23

Chapter 3: Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Maps 39

Part II: Geography Goes Digital 57

Chapter 4: Creating a Conceptual Model 59

Chapter 5: Understanding the GIS Data Models 73

Chapter 6: Keeping Track of Data Descriptions 93

Chapter 7: Managing Multiple Maps 109

Chapter 8: Gathering and Digitizing Geographic Data 117

Part III: Retrieving, Counting, and Characterizing Geography 135

Chapter 9: Finding Information in Raster Systems 137

Chapter 10: Finding Features in Vector Systems 147

Chapter 11: Searching for Geographic Objects, Distributions, and Groups 65

Part IV: Analyzing Geographic Patterns 181

Chapter 12: Measuring Distance 183

Chapter 13: Working with Statistical Surfaces 199

Chapter 14: Exploring Topographical Surfaces 213

Chapter 15: Working with Networks 225

Chapter 16: Comparing Multiple Maps 239

Chapter 17: Map Algebra and Model Building 253

Part V: GIS Output and Application 277

Chapter 18: Producing Cartographic Output 279

Chapter 19: Generating Non-Cartographic Output 293

Chapter 20: GIS in Organizations 301

Part VI: The Part of Tens 315

Chapter 21: Ten GIS Software Vendors 317

Chapter 22: Ten Questions to Ask Potential Vendors 329

Chapter 23: Ten GIS Data Sources 333

Index 343