Oh no yet another book on GIS? Well, yes and no. Yes, it is another book on GIS. But, no, it's not the same as its many 'rivals'. Instead of trying to produce a book that is all things to all people, Wise has wisely concentrated on what he describes as the 'inner workings' of GIS: how GIS systems operate, how spatial data are stored on a computer, how the different methods affect the capabilities of GIS, how basic operations are performed, how the choice of algorithm affects the speed of the system. The real triumph is that he does so in a clear and, most importantly, interesting way. I agree with his assertion that such insights into the workings of a GIS are useful and interesting to those with no previous knowledge in this area. I don't agree that previous books have been overly technical in this domian, just overly dull (a mistake that Wise avoids).
The only slight led-down is the quality of some of the illustrations which are not good and actually put me off reading the text for some while. But, don't let them (or the uninspiring front cover) put you off. This is a good book, very readable and an excellent complement to more general books on the field such as Longley et al.'s Geographical Information Systems and Science (Wiley: 2001). Indeed, I'd recommend these two books as a 'pair' that go well together and provide excellent learning to anyone interested in GIScience and -Systems.