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The Geospatial Desktop: Open Source Tools

Interest in mapping is on the rise, as evidenced by services such as Google Earth, Virtual Earth, MapQuest, and any number of other web mapping mashups. These are all exciting developments, yet there is another realm you should consider – the world of desktop mapping with open source GIS (OSGIS).

In-Demand Skills

Now, more than ever, web designers, developers, and GIS analysts are being asked to handle geospatial data with specific OSGIS tools. If you are not well versed in these technologies, then your GIS training could use an update.

The Geospatial Desktop – Open Source GIS & Mapping is a book specifically designed to get you up to speed quickly with both an overview of the OSGIS desktop technologies available as well as in-depth examples of common tasks.

Are you early or mid-way through your career and needing a boost?  You can easily get an edge on your fellow grads and colleagues by being well acquainted with OSGIS projects and this book is just one way to get caught up.

Lots of (cost-effective) Choices

Open source GIS is a rich and rapidly expanding field of endeavour. Take a look at the FreeGIS.org Project website, and you’ll see an impressive list of more than 300 applications. With such a wide array of software available, the goal of The Geospatial Desktop is to introduce you to some of the major applications that are in active development today. The approach is to introduce you to tools that will get you started and enable you to reach out and expand on your own.

The book starts out guiding beginners, but the author moves you quickly into areas that intermediate and advanced users can profit from. Starting from a simple problem and moving through the concepts of using open source, it then advances to examples of real GIS analysis.

He delves specifically into working with data, digitizing and creating new data, and then doing analysis using applications such as GRASS, QGIS, and uDig. In later chapters, you’ll find information on scripting and writing your own applications. That covers a range of end-user and developer focused tasks.

Supporting Your Needs

The Geospatial Desktop is particularly useful for training environments and used in several universities as a required text. Likewise, consulting companies that provide training can use it to guide their course delivery and as further reading for students who want to get ahead in the market.

You also have the added benefit of learning from a veteran in the OSGIS arena.  Written by the founder of the Quantum GIS (QGIS) project, with decades of GIS experience, the book shows you what you really need to know.  It also covers much more than just QGIS and is very readable.  It is akin to sipping a hot cup of tea while being gently lead through the joys and challenges of doing GIS by a clear and understandable teacher.

Locate Press is committed to publishing texts with a particular geospatial focus and, more importantly, keeping those texts up-to-date and in print so you can rely on them for years to come.

To learn more about the book, including a chapter listing and preview, check out the book’s page on: http://locatepress.com or see the chapter listing and examples on the book’s site at: http://geospatialdesktop.com.

If you’re already a reader, thank you for your interest, we’d love to hear your feedback or learn more about what you’d like to see in future revisions.


Gary Sherman is the creator of the Quantum GIS project and author of The Geospatial Desktop – Open Source GIS & Mapping, available in paperback and Kindle. He is a geospatial consultant with decades of both proprietary and open source geospatial experience – including data capture, web-based mapping and spatial database management. For more information see his business site at http://geoapt.com/.

Locate Press is a geospatial book and training company, with a particular focus on the needs of the open source GIS market. They are proud to have The Geospatial Desktop as their flagship publication and are always seeking other interested authors who want to bring their favourite products into the land of paperback and Kindle. For more information see their site at http://locatepress.com or contact them directly at info@locatepress.com.

One comment on "The Geospatial Desktop: Open Source Tools"

  1. Avatar Fiona says:

    I’ve ordered this book. I’ve been wanting to learn more about open source GIS for awhile. I need to get to know the GIS world beyond ESRI.

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