GIS Books

Browse this list of GIS, cartography, and remote sensing books.  

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Cartography

A cartographic reference book

Cartography. A Senior Cartographic Product Engineer with Esri, Kenneth Fields combined his over 30 years of experience with input from other professionals in the cartographic field to produce this reference guide about cartography.

Cartographic design classic

The Look of Maps: An Examination of Cartographic Design is by Arthur H. Robinson and was originally published in 1952.  

According to Esri, which has republished the tome as part of its cartographic classic series, the book was based on Robinson’s doctoral research “which investigated the relationship between science and art in cartography and the resultant refinement of graphic techniques in mapmaking to present dynamic geographic information.”

Book cover with a light tan background and the words "The Look of Maps"

The Look of Maps is still a widely valued book that examines the visual characteristics of cartographic technique, including: lettering, structure, and color.  Robinson was the author and co-author of several books about cartography including Elements of Cartography, The Nature of Maps, and Early Thematic Mapping in the History of Cartography.

Map Use: Reading, Analysis, Interpretation

Esri published an updated edition of Map Use: Reading, Analysis, Interpretation. This is the eighth edition of this particular textbook. The book is 650 pages of how to read maps more effectively, how to interpret what you are seeing, and how to analyze the accuracy and depictions of the maps in front of you. Learning how to read a map is becoming somewhat of a lost skill in the age of smartphones and portable GPS systems.

A cover of a book called "Map Use" with a blue gradient background and a globe of the Earth split into different styles of maps.

The book Map Use is a great way to get an overview of maps, what kinds of maps and projections are available, and what the pros and cons of each map type are. Reading, analyzing, and interpreting maps follow in the book. Readers can learn how maps are designed and what the important considerations are for cartographers seeking to create a new kind of map, or improve upon an earlier projection. Each map comes with a description of how it was made, making it easier for people to understand how to read it.

Cartography students as well as those interested in the art and science of maps will find the eighth edition of Map Use interesting. Professionals working with geographic information systems, or GIS, will also appreciate this book, which has sections devoted to current mapmaking techniques and technologies. The book is an extraordinary reference point for anyone seeking to know more about cartography and maps that are most relevant in the world today.

The book also contains information on cartography terminology and special sections related to specific mapmaking technologies such as pattern recognition, spatial analyses, and modern map interpretation.

Map Use: Reading, Analysis, Interpretation, eighth edition, is now available in print (ISBN: 9781589484429, 650 pages, US$99.99) or as an e-book (ISBN: 9781589484696, 670 pages, US$79.99.)

Learn ArcGIS books

Learn ArcGIS Pro

A recently released book by Tripp Corbin teaches readers how to use ArcGIS Pro, Esri’s latest iteration of its GIS desktop application.  Entitled, “Learning ArcGIS Pro: Create, analyze, maintain, and share 2D and 3D maps with the powerful tools of ArcGIS Pro”, the book covers a range of topics from software installation to performing geospatial analysis over 11 chapters (368 pages).  Corbin, is the CEO of eGIS Associates, a consulting company and has over 20 years of experience in the GIS industry.

While the book is aimed towards anybody looking to better understand ArcGIS Pro, experience with the Windows operating system is necessary.

Book cover for "learning ArcGIS Pro" featuring a black background, orange text boxes, and an aerial image.

What will the book teach?  Topics covered are:

  • Install ArcGIS Pro and assign Licenses to users in your organization
  • Navigate and use the ArcGIS Pro ribbon interface to create maps and perform analysis
  • Create and manage ArcGIS Pro GIS Projects
  • Create 2D and 3D maps to visualize and analyze data
  • Author map layouts using cartographic tools and best practices to show off the results of your analysis and maps
  • Import existing map documents, scenes, and globes into your new ArcGIS Pro projects quickly
  • Create standardized workflows using Tasks
  • Automate analysis and processes using ModelBuilder and Python

Learning ArcGIS Pro is available both in eBook and print format from Amazon.  More detail about the book is available from Packt Publishing.

ArcGIS Book

Esri has published a new companion book to The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying Geography to Your World that provides corresponding lessons and activities linked to each chapter in The ArcGIS Book.  

Written by GIS instructors Kathryn Keranen and Lyn Malone, Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book builds on the concepts outlined in The ArcGIS Book.  

Both books contain ten identically named chapters, with the Instructional Guide offering links to instructional videos and lessons that correspond to each chapter in The ArcGIS Book.

Book cover for "Instructional guide to the arcgis book" featuring a watercolor style map and orange blocks.

Some of the assignments in the Instructional Guide include: producing a map showing the location of farmers’ markets, creating an Esri Story Map that compares high school graduation and unemployment rates, analyzing and mapping crime patterns and trends in an American city, using a virtual 3D globe to explore the Syrian conflict, and creating an emergency management map app to deal with the threat of windstorms known as derechos.

The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying Geography to Your World available in print format or online.  Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book is also available as an eBook.

Working with geodatabases in ArcGIS Pro

Focus on Geodatabases in ArcGIS Pro – David W. Allen
Focus on Geodatabases in ArcGIS Pro introduces readers to the geodatabase, the comprehensive information model for representing and managing geographic information across the ArcGIS platform.

Learn ArcGIS books

ArcGIS Book

Esri has published a new companion book to The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying Geography to Your World that provides corresponding lessons and activities linked to each chapter in The ArcGIS Book.  Written by GIS instructors Kathryn Keranen and Lyn Malone, Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book builds on the concepts outlined in The ArcGIS Book.  Both books contain ten identically named chapters, with the Instructional Guide offering links to instructional videos and lessons that correspond to each chapter in The ArcGIS Book.

Working with geospatial tools in ArcGIS Pro

Making Spatial Decisions Using ArcGIS Pro: A Workbook – Kathryn Keranen, Robert Kolvoord
This workbook is designed to teach students how to use geospatial tools in ArcGIS Pro through the use of 18 real-world exercises.

Mastering ArcGIS

Mastering ArcGIS – Maribeth H. Price
From the author: Mastering ArcGIS is an introductory GIS text that is designed to offer everything you need to master the basic elements of GIS.

Switching from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro

Switching to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap by Maribeth H. Price transitions a user who is familiar with ArcMap into the mechanics of using ArcGIS Pro. Rather than teaching ArcGIS Pro from the start, this book focuses on how ArcGIS Pro is different from ArcMap.

Learn QGIS books

Discover QGIS 3.x – Kurt Menke
Explore the latest Long Term Release (LTR) of QGIS with Discover QGIS 3.x, a comprehensive up-to-date workbook built for both the classroom and professionals looking to build their skills.

Learn QGIS: Your step-by-step guide to the fundamental of QGIS 3.4 – Andrew Cutts, Anita Graser
This book will help you get started on your QGIS journey, guiding you to develop your own processing pathway. You will explore the user interface, loading your data, editing, and then creating data.

QGIS Map Design – Gretchen N. Peterson, Anita GraserThis book focuses on using QGIS to make completed maps, so that you can learn as if you were in a real-world type of scenario.

Working with GIS data books

Imagery and GIS: Best Practices for Extracting Information from Imagery – Kass Green, Russell G. Congalton, Mark Tukman
This book introduces readers to using remote sensing and imagery and how to use that data with GIS.

GIS and the 2020 Census: Modernizing Official Statistics – Amor Laaribi, Linda Peters
Census workers need to capture and analyze information at the finest geographic level with mobile and geospatial-based technology.

Fun cartography books

City Maps: A coloring book for adults – Gretchen N. Peterson
City Maps: A coloring book for adults is a 94-page book containing 44 maps covering cities from around the world by Gretchen Peterson

Great Maps – Dave Eggers
Great Maps takes a close look at the history of maps, from ancient maps such as medieval mappae mundi to Google Earth.

Why do we put north at the top of maps? Which maps show us the way to Heaven, and which show the “land of no sunshine” or the land of “people with no bowels”?

In Great Maps, author and historian Jerry Brotton tells the hidden story behind more than 60 of the most significant maps from around the world, picking out key features, stories, and techniques in rich visual detail to reveal the inner meaning buried within the landscape.

Endeavors in GIS books

Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science – Robert Kunzig
The sea covers seven-tenths of the Earth, but we have mapped only a small percentage of it. The sea contains millions of species of animals and plants, but we have identified only a few thousand of them. A vivid, up-to-date tour of the Earth’s last frontier.

Open the Door to GIS – Toni Fisher
This book is designed to be an engaging introduction to GIS, using stories and real-life circumstances to help bring the knowledge of GIS to your classroom.

Women and GIS: Mapping Their Stories – Esri Press
Esri Press has released a collection of twenty-three profiles featuring women professionals who use GIS. Hailing from a range of fields, the book takes a look at the professional lives of these women particularly from the standpoint of using maps, analysis, and GIS.

Mapping the Nation: How the US Government Uses GIS

Esri’s fifth book in its Mapping the Nation Series is a collection of maps called, Mapping the Nation: Building a More Resilient Future. This book shows how GIS is being used at the federal level in the US government.

The print version of latest volume contains 118 maps from more than 50 federal government agencies.  

The US Forest Service, US Department of Defense, US Department of Education, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are among the many agencies represented covering topics such as green government, economic recovery and sustainability, and climate protection.  

There is also an e-Book that includes interactive maps and videos as well as case studies of four start-up companies that are using ArcGIS technology in partnership with Esri and the government.

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Mapping the Nation: Building a More Resilient Future is available in print in February (ISBN: 9781589483910, 108 pages, US$19.99).

Mapping and Mappping the Nation 2015, an interactive digital adaptation of the printed map book, is available free of charge from the Esri Bookstore app on Apple iTunes and the Google Play store.

Book cover with a hand drawn skyscrapers with a faded map in the background.

Mapping the Nation: Supporting Decisions that Govern a People

Esri’s fourth volume in its “Mapping the Nation” series is entitled, “Mapping the Nation: Supporting Decisions that Govern a People“.  

This volume takes a look at how GIS is used within US Federal Government agencies to “evaluate and respond to social, economic, and environmental concerns at local, regional, national, and global levels.”

The book includes 125 color maps covering more than 30 federal government agencies such as the US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Defense, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The book is released each year in conjunction with Esri’s Federal GIS Conference which is being held this week in Washington, D.C.

“This volume of Mapping the Nation, our annual federal map book, is filled with excellent maps and applications that vividly convey the power and accessibility of GIS,” says Jack Dangermond, Esri president.

Book cover with an orange gradient and a globe with gray landforms.

“In these pages, you will see how great cartography can help tell compelling stories, how GIS is advancing science across multiple disciplines, how the government relies on GIS for planning and managing, and how this era of big data presents limitless opportunities to transform our nation and our world.”

The map showcases the use of GIS in federal government.  

Examples of geospatial work includes: “Potential Areas Suitable for Forest Restoration Projects,” “Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates,” “Post-Superstorm Sandy Elevation Differences and Beach Volume Change,” “Global Spread of Disease Caused by International Travel,” “The Hazard of Melting Permafrost for the Alaskan Natives,” and “Health Care Safety Measures for the Veterans Health Administration.”

The printed version can be ordered from participating retailers such as Amazon (~ $14) and retails for $19.95 (ISBN: 9781589483477, 144 pages).

There is also a digital version of Mapping the Nation which offers an interactive experience, such as allowing the viewer to zoom in for more detail or quickly access the live, online version of select maps.  Mapping and Apping the Nation 2014, an interactive digital adaptation of the printed map book, is available free of charge from the Esri Bookstore app on Apple iTunes and the Google Play store.

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