A Python Primer for ArcGIS® Paperback – 5 Dec 2011
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About the Author
Nathan Jennings is experienced in GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS, GIS for web, geospatial technology, consulting, and business systems integration. He is a full-time GIS professional with the City of Sacramento; he has designed and currently teaches courses in GIS Programming, Remote Sensing, Web Map Application Development, GPS, and GIS software at American River and Sacramento City Colleges in the Los Rios Community College system in Sacramento. Mr. Jennings has worked in the private sector both nationally and internationally in natural resource management, in government organizations and agencies, as a consultant for public and private organizations, and as an adjunct professor. Nathan has a passion for learning, teaching, and honing his craft. When Nathan is not working for the City of Sacramento or teaching, he can be found on the hiking trails in the Sierra Nevada mountains and along the Pacific coast or gardening in his back yard. In an alternative state, he attempts to keep up with his family and a motley collection of pets. See his website for more details: www.jenningsplanet.com
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Frustration 2: Implied: "We can teach you to do this, even if you don't know Python or how to write code." Umm, right. I had a clue, as I know VB 2010 and Java, and ran into roadblocks; for someone with no clue, not good.
Frustration 3: Someplace in the book there was a statement something like, "You should have a good map template if you want to create script to manipulate it." Okay, and how/where do we learn to do that?
Frustration 4: There were no hints of what to do if something didn't work. Basically, "here is my template, fill it in (from the examples), and there you go." (Life, ArcGIS, and Python are never that simple).
Frustration 5: No index. (Else I would give you the precise quote and page number re templates.)
Did like that the code was given for the try: and except: blocks, because that is a higher concept of coding and can be crazy to write.
Did like the discussion re progression and flow of code in the early chapters and creating the code outline/skeleton.
The book is easy to follow, and I picked up a few useful tips. (I was experienced with ArcGIS, but new to Python.) However, I quickly became frustrated. For many issues, the book advises referring to the Python or ArcGIS help files. Not necessarily a bad suggestion, but I don't need a book for that. The writing style is long-winded with numerous errors. And to cap it all, there is no index, which makes it almost impossible to use the book as a reference.
I didn't realize when I bought it that this book was self-published. Unfortunately, that shows.