Press releases

Desktop GIS--New from Pragmatic Bookshelf: Mapping the Planet with Open Source Tools

Press release: November 6, 2008

Desktop GIS Raleigh, NC—From Google Maps to iPhone apps, geographic data and visualization is quickly becoming a standard part of life.

Desktop GIS: Mapping the Planet with Open Source Tools (Pragmatic Bookshelf, $34.95) shows you how to assemble and use an Open Source GIS toolkit. You’ll find strategies for choosing a platform, selecting the right tools, integration, managing change, and getting support. You’ll get a good introduction to using the many tools available so you can visualize, digitize, and analyze your own mapping data.

The survey of open source GIS desktop applications provides you with a quick introduction to the many packages available. You’ll see examples of both GUI (Graphical User Interface) and command line interfaces to give you a feel for what is available.

This book will give you an understanding of the Open Source GIS landscape, along with a detailed look at the major desktop applications, including GRASS, Quantum GIS, uDig, spatial databases, GMT, and other command line tools. Finally, the book exposes you to scripting in the OSGIS world, using Python, shell, and other languages to visualize, digitize, and analyze your data.

But why a toolkit? Why not just use one of these applications to manage your GIS data?

Author Gary Sherman explains: "Not everyone will need or want the same tools in their toolkit. One of the things we hope to accomplish on our journey together is to identify which tools you need and then learn how to assemble them into a system that works for you. Ideally, you should come through the experience with some nicely integrated applications and utilities to serve all your mapping needs on the desktop."

It’s a big world out there, but you can start mapping the planet—or your favorite part of it—today.

For a review copy or more information please email Please include your delivery address and contact information.

Gary E. Sherman comes from a natural sciences background and has been torturing computers and programming languages for years. Gary has been using and customizing Geographic Information Systems for well over 16 years. In 2002 he founded the Quantum GIS project, an Open Source desktop GIS application for viewing and editing data. Gary lives and works in Alaska and commutes virtually around the world via the Internet.

Additional Resources
For more information about the book, including code, errata, discussions, excerpts, a full table of contents, and more, see the catalog page for Desktop GIS.

Desktop GIS
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Gary E. Sherman
ISBN: 9781934356067, 368 pages, $34.95 USD, £21.99 GBP

About Pragmatic Bookshelf
Pragmatic Bookshelf is an imprint of the Pragmatic Programmers, LLC. Our titles are distributed to bookstores internationally by O'Reilly Media.

The Pragmatic Bookshelf features books written by developers for developers. The titles continue the well-known Pragmatic Programmer style, and continue to garner awards and rave reviews. As development gets more and more difficult, the Pragmatic Programmers will be there with more titles and products to help programmers stay on top of their game.

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