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GIS Tutorial for Python Scripting (GIS Tutorials) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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|Length: 288 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Mr. Allen takes a "workbook" approach to the subject: each chapter has worked-out examples matched with tutorials. I appreciate that when the author provides technical details he also provides a good explanation of what is going on. The essential topics - stand-alone Python scripts, Python toolboxes and Python add-ins - are covered in sufficient detail for an introductory text to give the reader a solid grounding. What distinguishes this book from the others is its superior organization, clarity of text, examples and tutorials. Though the other books cover similar material (I own them both) Allen's "GIS Tutorial for Python Scripting" is the one I recommend for those new to this subject. The data for the book is available for download at esripress.esri.com/bookresources/ and a 60-day trial of ArcGIS for Desktop software is also available. Unlike ESRI Press books of the past there is no data dvd bundled with the book. Appendix B, "The Tool Index", is another helpful feature and my first stop when using the book.
Keep in mind that all three books are introductory books. Practice using the tools will be essential for you and ArcGIS help, resources and forums will be valuable aids for your development as will many other websites found by googling the subject on the web. Debugging Python scripts for ArcGIS remains a tedious process and even here Mr. Allen makes useful suggestions to minimize the pain. Though this book is a good addition to the field I will note that this area currently lacks any intermediate books on the subject though several are in preparation by other authors.
This book is definitely not for beginners. If you’re just starting out learning Python for ArcGIS I would stay away from this book. Before beginning each tutorial there’s extensive reading to be done on ArcGIS for Desktop Help as a preparation to the information presented in the tutorials. This book is definitely not an all-inclusive Tutorial book. This additional reading could easily make this book a 500 page endeavor instead of the 288 pages shown inside the book.
The author makes very broad learning assumptions from Tutorial to Exercises. Sometimes the exercises feel like they don't coincide with the tutorials. If you don’t have previous Python experience or you are unfamiliar with using Python for Geo-processing you will struggle to get through the tutorials. There is always something new introduced in the exercise that was not covered in the tutorial. This led to a lot of frustration when trying to complete the exercises. The book is also littered with mistakes. I could not find errata available online at the time of this review.
It is difficult enough to learn a new computer language - especially a language that uses ArcGIS objects and methods - when you have to DEBUG the author's code in the book! The book is not worthless, but needs to be revised and corrected. The reason there are NO completed programs included in the download data is no doubt because so much of the code does not work! I suggest that the author correct these example programs and include final versions with the downloaded material - both the "tutorial" and "exercise" programs...