September 15, 2003
Books, Books and More Books About GIS
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Message from the Editor

Welcome to GISWeekly! Some cruising on the Internet has revealed some GIS-related books published in 2003 that you might want to take a look at in this week's Industry News.

GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Alliances/Acquisitions, Announcements, Appointments, Awards, New Products, Featured Downloads, Going on Around the Web, and Calendar.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Books, Books and More Books About GIS

Books have survived the onslaught of technology advancement and continue to be purchased in addition to all the other tantalizing forms of media we have today. I have a special interest in books, as I have been in publishing most of my adult life. I've published a number of fiction titles for young people and most recently, when I'm not being the editor of GISWeekly, am working on a geology book of New Mexico for kids for a university press.

After taking several years' hiatus from writing books, I am amazed at how little time I spend in an actual library now. I used to have a once-a-week commitment to the library, and a stack of library books a mile high to refer to. Now, I search the Internet, visit specific geology sites, check out their reading lists and the book reviews, and order the books online, new or used.

The fact that books are surviving, even within technology, pleases me immensely. People obviously want to see things in print. The Internet provides us with an opportunity to fill certain content needs - the dispersal of current news, cataloguing of masses of information, lively commentaries on the state of GIS and new breakthroughs in technology-and to do a lot of research.

But books are a time-honored vehicle for education and entertainment. I take a book out of the shrinkwrap, out of the box, and hold it reverently, sniffing the open pages for that clean, crisp, exciting smell. To curl up on the couch with a new book, whose spine still creaks with newness when you open it, is a pleasure like none other.

Some cruising on the Internet has revealed some GIS-related books published in 2003 that you might want to take a look at. Some have not yet been released, let alone reviewed.

Also, if you have read any of the books mentioned, may I invite you to send GISWeekly an informal review - what do you think of the book? Would you recommend it to others, and why? What were the most outstanding points about this book? What didn't you like about it? Can you recommend other books published in 2003?

Advanced Spatial Analysis: The CASA Book of GIS by Editors Paul Longley and Michael Batty, ESRI Press, July 2003 ISBN: 1589480732

Edited by Paul A. Longley, professor of geographic information science at University College, London, and acting deputy director of CASA and Michael Batty, director of CASA and a professor of spatial analysis and planning at University College, London, this book describes the latest developments in GIS applications at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College, London. CASA's work involves cutting edge solutions to GIS application problems in fields such as urban planning, economic development and transportation. Virtual reality reconstructions for Egyptian archaeological research and how the modeling of spatial events such as football games and carnivals can be
accomplished using agent-based modeling, simulating the paths of pedestrians and local traffic to give us knowledge about crowd behavior are featured case studies.

Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation

Ralph W. Kiefer (Author)

Published by Wiley; 5th edition, October 2003 ISBN: 0471152277 (not yet released)

From Book News, Inc.

An introduction to remote sensing for upper division students studying earth resource management. This revised and updated edition expands the discussion of such topics as photointerpretation strategies, hyperspectral scanning, classification accuracy assessment, and new satellite systems. It also greatly increases the emphasis on the intimate two-way relationship between remote sensing and GIS. There are many new line drawings and photographic illustrations, and over half of the (24) color plates are new. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Int Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol 21/16, 2000

"It remains an excellent book and to have it updated is very valuable...It is nice to see a good book being updated." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

East View Cartographic announced this week that it has published first in a series of books called Terrain Analysis of Afghanistan, which will eventually be followed by similar geographic analysis books for additional countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, China, and others. The contents of this 390 page volume are derived from detailed ground level survey work of Afghanistan performed during the 1980's by the Soviet military mapping agency VTU (Military-Topographic Directorate).

This type of information has been virtually nonexistent previously and provides many companies, governmental agencies, NGO's, individuals and others who will be involved in helping the government of Hamid Karzai in the rebuilding of Afghanistan with a valuable resource. As mentioned in our
August 4, 2003 newsletter, Much of this type of work requires a search for cartographic products, such as NIMA products, and vector data. Sometimes agencies must create their own vector data. The Russian military maps have been used extensively, but there has not been, to date, published local terrain analysis of Afghanistan.

Published in English for the first time, this book provides sub-province local terrain analysis with detailed reports for 128 local regions, each of which corresponds to a specific region of Afghanistan defined by Soviet/Russian topographic maps at 1:200,000 scale. An individual map quadrangle covers an area measuring approximately 74 by 92 kilometers (40 minutes lat. by 60 minutes long.), with the name of each area based on the English translation of the largest population center appearing on the map. The narrative information contained in this volume overwhelmingly comes from terrain analysis studies appearing on the verso side of the above-mentioned maps.

For each of the 128 map sheets there exist six categories of information. They are:

1. Populated Places describes populated centers ranging from small towns and villages to major cities and includes local road and street conditions, building characteristic, water resources, housing density, sanitary conditions, telecommunications infrastructure and population levels.

2. Roads describes road and bridge conditions throughout the country and includes load capacities, surface materials (e.g. dirt, gravel, asphalt), width of the roads and beds in meters, elevation ranges, and passage conditions as impacted by change of seasons, snow, and flooding etc.

3. Topography and Soils contains localized analysis of soil and terrain conditions including altitude and slope characteristics for mountainous areas, types of soils (e.g. sandy, clay), water table levels, river bottom conditions, and seismic activity.

4. Hydrology describes major rivers in each area including widths, depths, and flow rates, along with banks/islands, silting, freezing, pollution, and other conditions which can affect their passage or usage.

5. Vegetation is described as to whether it is grassy, forested, shrubs, and other. Tree heights and types are identified, as are the predominant types of grasses and the crops that are raised in each area by local farmers.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.


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