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Geospatial/GIS Book Titles – Part 2

This post continues where we left off in our last post where we introduced the main QGIS books from Locate Press. The other two categories of books we have include specialized GIS titles and more general GIS titles.

Geospatial & GIS book categories

Specialized geospatial software titles cover web-based mapping, routing analysis, and general raster/vector data management.

General GIS titles covers a wide range of geospatial desktop technology as well as teaching the principles of GIS and data management for new geospatial users.

Web Mapping

Book cover for Leaflet Cookbook Recipes for Creating Dynamic Web Maps by Numa Gremling

Leaftlet Cookbook

Recipes for Creating Dynamic Web Maps

by Numa Gremling

Numa’s covers all the needed pieces for starting your own web mapping project – including an understanding of raster and vector data layers.

No advanced HTML/CSS knowledge is needed as each topic is gently introduced. GEOJson mapping, layout, feature styling, and even geoprocessing with Turf.js is covered.

Databases and other more advanced topics are also included.

Routing in a Spatial Database

pgRouting: A Practical Guide for PostgreSQL by Regina Obe and Leo Hsu

pgRouting: A Practical Guide

by Regina Obe and Leo Hsu

pgRouting is a complement to PostGIS – the open source spatial database, taking the basics of data maangement and queries to the next level.

This book introduces all the data types, functions, queries, and even QGIS integration you need for applying network navigation/routing on top of PostGIS.

Use it as a database add-on, QGIS desktop tool, or publish capabilities through web mapping clients – learn how in this book.

General GIS & Data Management Books

The Geospatial Desktop - Open Source GIS and Mapping by Gary Sherman

The Geospatial Desktop

Open Source GIS and Mapping

by Gary Sherman

Gary’s second geospatial book, and the first for Locate Press, covers a wide range of mapping and GIS software.

It is also a general introduction to open source GIS applications and concepts including raster data, vector data, spatial databases, coordinate systems, etc.

It covers command line tools, desktop GIS tools, scripting examples, and more. Software covered includes GDAL/OGR, QGIS, GRASS GIS, PostGIS, GMT, and more.

Geospatial Power Tools - Open Source GDAL / OGR Command Line Utilities by Tyler Mitchell

Geospatial Power Tools

Open Source GDAL/OGR Command Line Utiltiies

By Tyler Mitchell and GDAL Developers

In Tyler’s second geo-related book, he introduces the basics of using open source command line tools to manage your data.

Topics include converting, transforming, geoprocessing, and analyzing vector/raster datasets.

GDAL raster and OGR vector utilities are introduced along with their comprehensive command line manuals written by developers and formatted for readability.

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Overview of our Geospatial Book Titles

locate press logo for geospatial books and e-books

It can be hard to know what book to buy when you are just starting to learn open source geospatial technology. This post outlines each GIS & geospatial book in our catalog to help give you the top takeaways to consider.

Geospatial & GIS book categories

Locate Press books cover a wide range of topics but they all fit into a few simple categories which we review, in-depth, after the following summaries.

QGIS book titles cover comprehensively learning the software, designing good maps with it, applying to the domain of hydrology, and writing custom applications with Python.

Specialized geospatial software titles cover web-based mapping, routing analysis, and general raster/vector data management.

General GIS titles covers a wide range of geospatial desktop technology as well as teaching the principles of GIS in a classroom-friendly way for younger students.

QGIS books

Introduction to QGIS - Open Source Geographic Information System by Scott Madry

Introduction to QGIS

Open Source Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

by Scott Madry Ph.D.

Scott’s book applies to QGIS 3.16 LTR edition, covering the latest stable version of QGIS.

This books introduces how QGIS works, with the user interface, handling different kinds of files, import and export.

Learn the processing toolbox, modeler, and the Python console in particular. Fundamental GIS topics such as raster/vector analysis, 3D map viewing, and map production in QGIS are covered.

QGIS for Hydrological Applications - Recipes for Catchment Hydrology and Water Management by Hans van der Kwast and Kurt Menke

QGIS for Hydrological Applications

Recipes for Catchment Hydrology and Water Management

by Hans van der Kwast and Kurt Menke

Hans and Kurt’s popular domain-focused text contains core knowledge for handling data in the hydrology field, including lab exercises and links to more teaching resources.

It includes map algebra, delineating streams, and land cover calculations for catchments. And QGIS basics: digitizing, importing tabular data, interpolating data into rasters, and georeferencing scanned maps.

Discover QGIS 3.x - A Workbook for Classroom or Independent Study by Kurt Menke

Discover QGIS 3.x – A Workbook for Classroom or Independent study

by Kurt Menke

This updated QGIS training workbook uses structured study of core geospatial concepts and GIS functions from the latest QGIS 3.x Long Term Release version.

New sections are included in this 2019 update covering advanced data visualization with layer effects, 3D maps, blending modes, and more.

A complete training course — exercises, questions, and solutions are provided.

QGIS Map Design - Second Edition by Anita Graser and Gretchen N. Peterson

QGIS Map Design – Second Edition

by Anita Graser & Gretchen N. Peterson

Have you ever wanted to improve your cartography output from QGIS 3? Learn step-by-step instructions to create compelling visuals and new workflows in this second edition.

Basic QGIS knowledge is presumed as the focus is on building maps with the newest and latest functionality of QGIS – including atlases, multitudinous color tools, map label generation, printable maps, and more.

The PyQGIS Programmer's Guide 3 - Extending QGIS 3 with Python 3 by Gary Sherman

The PyQGIS Programmer’s Guide – Extending QGIS 3 with Python 3

by Gary Sherman

Learn the QGIS 3 Python API for writing scripts and creating plugins.

A chapter is dedicated to helping you set up your development environment and to have a productive development workflow. Each chapter includes exercises for you to put your knowledge to work.

This is an update from the earlier QGIS 2 / Python 2 edition.

On the Way with GIS - Student and Teacher Edition by Toni Fisher

On the Way with QGIS – Student and Teacher Edition

by Toni Fisher

Written for teachers and students, those aged 10 to 15 years old continue learning GIS by building on the lessons and concepts from Fisher’s earlier work, Open the Door to GIS.

This edition introduces more advanced topics and encourages inquiry-based learning techniques and storytelling to inspire creativity, problem solving, and building confidence as they work through various scenarios.

Open the Door to GIS - Student and Teacher Edition by Toni Fisher

Open the Door to GIS – Student and Teacher Edition

By Toni Fisher

Introduce students (age 10 to 15 years) to analytical and graphical skill using open-source GIS technology.

Creative storytelling is used with QGIS to teach students skills for making treasure maps, creating a game, and more, alongside characters in the stories.

Creativity and reflection are encouraged as they grow throughout these weekly lessons covering a full semester.

Other categories

The above books cover all the current QGIS training books. In another post, we will introduce the specialized application books (pgRouting, Leaflet) and the more general GIS training books as well (Desktop GIS, GDAL).

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What is Geospatial Technology?

Geospatial technology started with photo interp and GIS

Geospatial technology brings tools and data together to describe, map, and analyze the world around us and worlds yet to be discovered.


The term geospatial is a relatively new invention at least in the parlance of mainstream developers. Geospatial can refer to types of data or to types of technology. The word itself is a combination of geographic and spatial – indicating an alignment between geography and the general idea of spatial/locational properties. Spatial concepts (think geometry and statistics) do not necessarily represent a place on a planet until they are combined with ideas of geography in general.

Built on the history of Geographic of Information Systems (GIS)

GIS is a technical domain, usually for geographers, that allows users to make digital maps and subject them to various types of analysis. Sources of GIS data may include satellite or aerial imagery (raster data) or line map data (vector data) delineating points, lines, or regions of interest – created by surveyors, engineers, photo interpreters, etc.

While many GIS projects output maps, their primary goal is to develop observations about a project area and overlapping properties and values. For example, land-use planning typically requires a GIS process to compare/contrast all the competing values – economic, social, environmental, etc. These are thought of as layers of spatial data that overlap one another and can be combined to show different management priorities or scenarios.

Where do deer live in the winter compared to a planned highway development in a popular tourist corridoor – many values in one location often need advanced tools to build a complete picture.

Geography made digital

While GIS helps bring geography into the digital domain, geospatial technology helps bring it to life for more people. Beyond specific GIS projects, there are many more data sources, cartographic products and ways to output maps for different consumers . Collectively, these fall into the region of geospatial data and technology.

Web-based mapping really helped propel the generalized use of geographic data into the mainstream. Before Google Maps was introduced in 2005, there were only a handful of common web-based mapping tools available for the public to use. Developers started to build their own open-source platforms to share information and collect input.

This required a whole stack of technology including geographic data, web servers, spatial databases, rendering libraries, web-interaction libraries (zoom/click/pan), and the internet itself. Geographers or GIS users may only be a small part of the overall project or not involved at all.

In the end, a handful of different technologies are needed to bring digital geospatial data to life.

Broader than just spatial analytics

Building new geospatial web-mapping tools was one part of the journey. Naturally, the more people use mapping tools, the more questions they want to answer. For example, consider how popular Google Maps became due to its driving directions. This level of spatial analytics was profoundly useful for those driving in a new location. But only a small set of built-in analytics was really ever possible with this platform – or so it seemed.

Data analysts and GIS users are used to running specific types of routines on data to get an answer. For example, calculate an optimal route from A to B. Or what is the expected water course derived from this elevation model?

However, with modern geospatial technology, the user may view and interact with the data in a more real-time approach to build understanding before they ever run an analytical routine.

They may never click a “analyze” button but can use a 3D map view to get a sense of where water will flow, or look at the streets around them to compute their own driving path in their head. In this sense, geospatial tools help them leverage geographic data in a context that is intensely personal.

Collection of mapping technology

So what tools and technology are considered geospatial in nature? As noted in the “stack” of technology above, it is a wide-ranging set of technology. It can be helpful to look at the two types of end-users that typically leverage geospatial technology: software developers and data analysts.

Geospatial developers take data of interest, depending on their domain, and create applications that allow their target audience to interact with the data in a meaningful way. This may mean taking data that is not always spatial in nature – like a list of addresses or stores running sales – and turn it into a component on a map for viewing and querying.

Location-based applications using GPS tracking on a device are also used by developers to give localized awareness of nearby data or attributes the developer wants to expose.

Geospatial analysts – often work more behind-the-scenes and provide types of data analysis outputs that get used by application developers, GIS users, or even in reports or web sites for general public consumption.

Geospatial analytics for all

Analysis with geospatial data components is not limited to one domain of analyst anymore. Data scientists or business analysts may combine data from many sources – spatial or not – to provide a common operating picture of a business or project.

Therefore, libraries and processes for analyzing geospatial data have become ubiquitous or are at least a common subset of analytical routines that many have access to. Both desktop and web-based approaches to sharing data along with analytical tools continues to grow in popularity.


Locate Press sells books for learning and applying geospatial technology, written by experts in their field: