Some Concepts That Underpin GIS
Developing a Fast Facts File for the Information You Learn
To make this textbook work well for you, I strongly recommend that you create and maintain a Fast Facts File—a computer text file in which you can record what you learn so that it is at your fingertips. It will serve you whenever you need to know a particular bit of information or perform an operation. Much of what you do you will put into your own fast memory (contained in your cranium), but there will be a number of facts that your fast memory may not contain when you need them. Here’s where the Fast Facts File comes in. It is a computer-based equivalent of a loose-leaf notebook that you continually revise and update. There’s where you should put procedures and concepts you might forget after a couple of weeks of doing work other than GIS.
For example, you might use the file to note techniques for changing symbology (colors and symbols that represent features on a map), which are addressed at various points in the text and the software. You can note the techniques down as you work with them and reorganize them later. The computer-searchable file helps you find what you need when you need it, even if you fall behind in organizing.
Periodically reorganize your notes. Occasionally print out the file and put it in a notebook. Periodically back up the file onto a flash drive, CD-ROM, or e-mail it to yourself. As you progress through this ...