Paperback: 265 pages
Publisher: Esri Press; 1 edition (July 24, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #535,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #35 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Graphics & Multimedia > GIS #112 in Books > Science & Math > Earth Sciences > Geography > Information Systems #113 in Books > Computers & Technology > Graphics & Design > Computer Modelling > Remote Sensing & GIS
In a niche that already has two entry-level books on Python programming for ArcGIS is there a need for this book? Mr. Allen, author of several other ESRI Press books, demonstrates that writing a better book than the competition provides the answer - for "GIS Tutorial for Python Scripting" is the introductory book you should buy. The alternatives are Paul A. Zandbergen's "Python Scripting for ArcGIS" (ESRI Press, 2013) and Eric Pimpler's "Programming ArcGIS 10.1 with Python Cookbook" (Packt Publishing, 2013).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.
A more rigorous approach to Python scripting than other books I've seen. The book does not teach basic Python or GIS. Users of this book must know ArcGIS and should know basic Python beforehand. Zandbergen's book: "Python Scripting for ArcGIS (PSFA)" is a good precursor to this book and if you do not know Python well I would suggest going through that book first. When this book (GIS Tutorial) brought up subjects briefly, I found it useful to refer back to Zandbergen's book for a refresher. For example the Describe() function in this book is introduced with two or three sentences, whereas in PSFA four pages are devoted to it. This book has a Tool Index in the back, but not a subject index. They are almost the same but I think this book could be improved if they would add a general subject index. But if not, the existing tool index refers to the section in the book where a tool is discussed. It should refer to the page number instead. Now I come to the font used for showing code. Why all the changes - even on the same page. In some cases the font starts out normal, like the other text - then it gets smaller, and then even smaller down to about 4 or 5! Good grief! If you are going to do that include one of those flat magnifying glasses with the book. I think 9 is the minimum font size in a publication. But then I ran across a case on page 73 where he did not reduce the font, just lopped off the end of some code! Very very poor editing dude. Also, it appears to me that the writer (David Allen) might have been in a hurry to publish because there are sometimes misleading codes which made me wonder, "where did that come from?
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