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Essentials of Geographic Information Systems

Michael Shin, Jonathan Campbell, and Nick Burkhart
September 2015
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This textbook is suitable for the following courses: Introductory Geographical Information Systems.

Essentials of Geographic Information Systems integrates key concepts behind the technology with practical concerns and real-world applications. Recognizing that many potential geographic information system users are non-specialists or may only need a few maps, this book is designed to be accessible, pragmatic, and concise. This textbook illustrates how geographic information systems are used to ask questions, inform choices, and guide policy. From the melting of the polar ice caps to privacy issues associated with mapping, this book provides a gentle, yet substantive, introduction to the use and application of digital maps, and mapping.

New in This Version:
  • Revised chapter structure designed to improve the learning of geographic concepts, highlight the elements of mapping, and reinforce the essentials of GIS.
  • New chapter on web mapping that covers its origins and development, and how web mapping works.
  • Focus on the foundations and fundamentals of GIS.
  • Concise and direct approach.
  • Customizable.
Michael shin

Michael Shin Univ Of California-Los Angeles

Michael Shin is associate professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has over fifteen years of experience in developing and leading courses—both in-person and online—in geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial technologies. Michael’s teaching materials draw from his research interests in political geography, spatial analysis, and the social impacts of geospatial technology. He has also applied his expertise in geospatial analytics to various projects with McKinsey & Company, as well as with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Michael earned his MS and Ph.D. in geography, and his BA in International Affairs, from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Jonathan Campbell University of California-Los Angeles

Dr. Jonathan E. Campbell is a GIS analyst and biologist based in Carlsbad, CA. Formerly an adjunct professor of GIS, cartography, and physical geography courses at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Santa Monica College, Jonathan has extensive experience collecting, mapping, and analyzing geospatial data on projects throughout the United States. He has over 15 years of experience in the application of GIS and biogeographic services in conjunction with the implementation of environmental policies and compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Jonathan holds a Ph.D. in geography from UCLA, an MS in plant biology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a B.S. in environmental biology from Taylor University.

Nick Burkhart UCLA Geography

Nick Burkhart is the academic administrator for GIS at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Nick specializes in Web-based mapping technology, spatial analysis, and geographic data visualization methods, and he teaches related courses in GIS and cartography. His research also includes the study and development of pedagogy and instructional design methods for online teaching of GIS courses. He is an active GIS software developer and a member of the open source GIS community. Nick earned his PhD and MA in geography from UCLA, and he also holds a B.S. in geography from Arizona State University.
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