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Getting to Know ArcGIS ModelBuilder (Getting to Know (ESRI Press)) Paperback – 15 May 2011

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great for the novice but needs to be much longer for the expert 26 Nov. 2011
By Daniel - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had great expectations for this book, thinking it would go into some detail on novel ways to use various geoprocessing tools together in models. Instead, it uses some common tools in simple models mainly to serve as examples of how ModelBuilder works.

This is of great value to anybody who is new to ModelBuilder and is some use to self-taught power users of ModelBuilder who need a good foundation in the major aspects of the application.

I did learn about iteration, better ways to incorporate Python and how to use if-elif-else logic in models, which alone was worth the cost. But I'd love to see the second edition of the book doubled in size to give room for some advanced methods to build and use models to solve specific types of problems.

As is, this is mostly a really good introduction to ModelBuilder.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
legit 24 Sept. 2012
By mycolochang - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yesterday I completed all exercises in the book except for chapters 2, 4, and 7. went smoothly. I found the book a great warmup for visually thinking in terms of source code and am looking forward to a) getting to the rest of it and b) graduating from modelbuilder into python. There are a few minor errors which make the book's interpretation for 10.1 SLIGHTLY different, but if the user already has a familiarity with modelbuilder but seeks knowledge of advanced techniques, these errors are trivial. the directions are explicit. Let's just say they go about as smoothly as demos at an ESRI conference: if there are technical difficulties, they'll trip you up pretty bad, but they're technical difficulties, and they're probably not anyone's fault, so at least you shouldn't /feel/ bad about them. The book does not frequently refer you back to ESRI's online help documentation, which, because it is a book, is a quality that makes it worth buying if you can afford it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great resource for experienced ArcGIS User 19 Aug. 2013
By Tripp Corbin - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I use this as a text book for classes I teach on ModelBuilder. It is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about using ModelBuilder to automate and document analysis or other geoprocessing workflows in Esri's ArcGIS for Desktop. ModelBuilder allows users to create automated scripts using a visual interface without the need to be a programmer. This book is not for those new to GIS. Some experience using Esri's ArcGIS for Desktop is a must. Experience using geoprocessing tools to perform analysis is a big help as well.

This book provides hands on experience through the student exercises which use ArcGIS for Desktop and ModelBuilder. This allows students to create models starting at very simple one moving to more advanced one that make use of user specified parameters, iterators, and more. They gain confidence as they move along. The challenge exercises at the end of the book are indeed very challenging and will provide a good test of a students understanding.

I have used this book with both ArcGIS 10.0 and 10.1. There are some minor differences with some of the exercises if you try to work through them with 10.1 instead of the 10.0 the book was designed for. The Author does have an errata he is putting together and I do believes plans to release an updated version for 10.1 soon. Hopefully there will also be one for 10.2 soon as well. I found an couple of minor typos or missing steps in a couple of exercises as well. However if you are familiar with using the geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS for Desktop, you should be able to figure them out and work around them.

Overall a very good book. One I would recommend for any ArcGIS users library.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Easy to Use, Hard to extrapolate 18 Jun. 2012
By BKDeluxe - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've used a fair number of Esri press books through my studies in GIS, and I've been reasonably pleased with them. The way they go through laying out their methodologies for manipulating ArcGIS is simple, easy to follow, and produces results. My one complaint about this (and other) of their instructional publications is that it is somewhat difficult to take their methods and extrapolate them to real world problems. Since the way they do things is to provide you with specific data and a process for handling it rather than giving you any kind of general method, I think it becomes challenging to project these tools into other venues of GIS.

This book is great for getting the basics of ModelBuilder down, but don't expect it to be comprehensive. To really understand it, this really is no substitute for experience or a more in-depth publication.
Book needs to be revisited 6 Nov. 2012
By Paul Jameson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a valuable resource, but needs to be revisited by the author to correct some of the mistakes. For a person who knows almost nothing about Python, I found it a little difficult because I did not know what the code meant, although I reasoned some of it out from my knowledge of Java.

Also I think the author needs to make the book bigger to allow him to do away with, what appears to be, assumptions on the part of the author that the reader understands what he is saying. The author needs to be more explicit. I found myself trying to read between the lines in some places, or in some cases it seemed he would introduce a term and then refer to the idea of the term with a different term. That caused me to say, "Huh?" Another reason the book needs to be bigger is that the complexity of the logic that goes along with the connecting of the various tools was not clear in all cases. For example a more measured approach and careful explanation of why creating an output for a certain tool also created an input with the same name confused me.

Nevertheless, it is a valuable and timely resource and i will probably have to reread it to understand everything.

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