[techbooks] REVIEW: "GIS Standards and Standardization: A Handbook", UNESCAP
- BKGISSSH.RVW 990506
"GIS Standards and Standardization: A Handbook", UNESCAP, 1998,
%A United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
%C New York
%I United Nations
%P 124 p.
%T "GIS Standards and Standardization: A Handbook"
The preface was written by an executive bureaucrat, so it doesn't say
much. In fact, the entire book seems to have a rather high verbiage
to concept ratio.
Chapter one looks at the (very short) history and (very vague) theory
of geographic information systems (GIS). Beyond the idea that it
involves information with some spatial component, not much is said.
Toward the end of the chapter there is a brief discussion of the
purpose of the book, but the stated purpose is simply to aid readers
in understanding GIS standards. An examination of the notion of
standards is contained in chapter two, which gets very abstruse in
places. The GIS "infrastructure," referred to in chapter three,
lists, without much overall structure, a variety of standards bodies.
More detailed descriptions of specific GIS standards bodies and groups
are given in chapter four. While this begins to examine the
geographic information system topic, there is still no technical
material at all. Finally, chapter five does start to look at
standards, and even here, half the chapter is spent on hardware
platforms, with the remaining material given over to a listing, with
little description, of a variety of mapping program formats. We are
basically told to educate ourselves in chapter six.
Aside from the list of working groups in chapter four, and the list of
programs in the latter part of chapter five, I see very little content
in this book to be of use to anyone. (For the first time, it appears
that both Amazon and Chapters agree with me: neither of them lists the
book at all. Barnes and Noble does list the volume, but only as a
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKGISSSH.RVW 990506
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