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This is one of the most information dense books I've read in a long time. I have a background in GIS (Geographic Information System) from before the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) was coined - we called it a Geographic Based Information System (GBIS) at that time. My reason for reading this book was to update myself on state of the art for GIS. The Web is just one more interface to georgraphically linked information.

If you have not gathered, so far, this book is not for the faint of heart. If you want to build your own Google Earth, or maybe something on a smaller scale, you may want to delve in and learn, learn, learn.

GIS marries two basic kinds of data, spatial (georgraphic) and informational (information tied to the geographic location). Start with presenting the geographical information by understanding raster and vector data, and where to start looking for this data for your own use.

How are you going to display your maps? Learn about projections, coordinate systems, and much more about cartography.

Then there are file formats. Then there is the database. Then there are the programs and technologies to marry all this together and to the web.

On the practical side, there are sources for everything presented, and practical how-to information to put it all together.

I like Scott's writing style, and the information is organized well so that you can progress from beginning to end and build upon what you've already covered. The end product could be Pizza-Earth, a website complete with global zoom-in imagery down to street level maps with locations of all the world's pizza joints with pop-up menus, pricing, and reviews. Good Luck!

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