A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 68
November 5, 2006
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A to Z GIS: An Illustrated Dictionary of Geographic Information Systems by Sommer and Wade (Eds), ESRI Press, 2006
As we quickly covered in the Book Corner in Episode 65 of the podcast, ESRI is the first to market with a GIS specific dictionary of terms with their A to Z GIS. Overall, the text offers a quick introduction to the majority of GIS related terms and concepts. It is surprising the number of terms they include with very little oversight. As a text from ESRI Press, written by ESRI employees, however, it does seem to trend toward definitions that fit well with ESRI software. For example, the definition of topology includes a definition that is explicitly linked to ESRI’s Coverage format (admittedly a great format for handling topology).
Perhaps my only true issue with the text is that an industry specific dictionary such as A to Z GIS should be a ready reference for the neophyte, the unsure, and the person in need of a quick reference. However, the definitions in the book are primarily technical, pulled from their discipline of origin, often Math, Statistics, etc, and do not always offer a spatially specific definition that puts the terms in a GIS context. As I suggested in the podcast review, Johnston, et al offers a great model to follow in The Dictionary of Human Geography where leaders in each area were tapped to provide descriptions of each term, along with key references to help the reader build on the information provided. Admittedly most of the definitions in Johnston et al are more extensive than those needed for the terms in A to Z GIS, but it would be nice to see where the authors obtained their definitions.
That said, I do believe that A to Z GIS offers a good source for reference, especially for those who are just getting into GIS or who have been around long enough to begin to forget terms that they once knew. I think it is safe to say that I am not the target audience, but that my students are, although itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always nice to have a quick reference guide when you need it.
Main Topic: Interview with Ed Parsons. News: Landsat Team, Tyler Mitchell, and Scotland GI registry
Main: How real is real enough. News: SLAM, NYC Film Mashup and ASPRS Certification
Our interview with Dave Scheirer from the ESRI UC is up now as part of the ESRI Speaker Series. Some of the questions were tough since our research is essentially our client (outside of the few small contract projects that we have done over the years), so we fumble a bit on that question and of course, unless they edited it out, I unitentionally brown-nosed :-P.
It was a great time and it was an honor to have Dave interview us himself since he has helped us get our foot in the door for the sponsorship and many of the great interviews we have had in the past.
Main: Population Geography. News: Netflix search, Space Policy, and NSGIC