A wide range of texts support courses in geographic information systems (GIS), and these books are good examples.
Kang-tsung Chang's text is comprehensive yet detailed in technical issues. For the advanced student, or professional users, it is one of the best books available. Each topic is associated with well-chosen exercises using data from an accompanying CD. The book is clearly aimed at US users of ArcView. The CD contains ArcView software and data for the exercises with little mention of competing systems. The UK Ordnance Survey is not mentioned.
Ian Heywood et al' s book is best suited for undergraduate education rather than training, and is designed to interest the average student, with cartoons and visual representations of GIS processes. The quality of the production and choice of illustrations are outstanding, as is the accompanying website.
Anyone running a training course in the use of ArcView in North America will find Chang's book an excellent choice. Anyone introducing GIS in an undergraduate course in the UK should opt for Heywood et al.
David Walker is an honorary research fellow in geography, Loughborough University.
An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems. Second edition
Author - Ian Heywood, Sarah Cornelius and Steve Carver
ISBN - 0 13 061198 0
Publisher - Prentice Hall
Price - £24.99
Pages - 295