Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Getting Started with GIS: A LITA Guide

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Getting Started with GIS: A LITA Guide

Article excerpt

Getting Started with GIS: A LITA Guide. Eva Dodsworth. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2011. 183 p. Paper $70 (ISBN 978-1555707750).

Getting Started with GIS: A LITA Guide introduces and highlights the importance of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to librarians. The author cites Wikipedia in defining GIS as "a set of tools that captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that are linked to location" (4). This book serves as an initiation and tutorial to a field that librarians may not have encountered or that might not even have existed when the target audience attended library school.

Mapping technologies and their use have exploded in the last decade, and, according to Dodsworth, today's citizens live in a world where spatial literacy is an essential skill. It follows that librarians of all types should have some understanding of GIS and should possess the skills required both to answer patron questions and to integrate GIS into their libraries in various ways. Throughout the book, the author gives examples of the ways that GIS infiltration has already started to happen in many libraries.

The book is divided into chapters on background information, GIS in Web 2.0, guides to web mapping, GIS data and software, and library services and collections. Each section lists extensive sources and references for the reader who would like to delve further into the subject. …

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