Read more about Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice: An Introduction to GIS

Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice: An Introduction to GIS

(9 reviews)

Yiping Fang, Portland State University, Portland, OR

Vivek Shandas, Portland State University

Eugenio Arriaga Cordero, Portland State University

Copyright Year: 2014

ISBN 13: 9781312778986

Publisher: Portland State University Library

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of Use

Attribution-NonCommercial Attribution-NonCommercial


Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Sunny Lin, Assistant Professor, Portland State University on 2/28/20

Covers fundamental areas, and refers to existing texts for other areas to cover in-depth; love the practicality of topics covered read more

Reviewed by Song Chen, Assistant Professor, Bucknell University on 3/4/19

The short textbook is intended to serve the needs of students who plan to use GIS to analyze U.S. census data but has no such experience. It discusses three main topics: the basics of GIS, the nature of census data in the United States, and the... read more

Reviewed by Filiberto Asare-Akuffo, Instructor of Record and Graduate Student, Florida State University on 11/5/18

Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice: An Introduction to GIS is a well-written book that covers the length and breadth of geographic information system. As an introductory book, it breaks down the complex concept for easy assimilation by newbies... read more

Reviewed by Jinseok Hong, Assistant Professor, East Tennessee State University on 11/1/18

This textbook offers detailed information on the basic concepts of GIS (Ch.1~Ch. 3 and Ch 9) reasonably. However, later chapters except Ch 9 are only 1~2 pages long and it seems that topics are not necessarily applied to planners specific. The... read more

Reviewed by Elia Machado, Assistant Professor, Lehman College, City University of New York (CUNY) on 6/19/18

This book is an introduction to GIS for planning students. Its main goal (from the preface) is to “help students acquire the technical skills of using software and managing data base, and develop research skills of collecting data, analyzing... read more

Reviewed by Guang Tian, Assistant Professor, University of New Orleans on 5/21/18

As an instructor teaching GIS in planning, I am looking for a good textbook. I totally agree with the authors that there is a “deficit of introductory textbooks specifically written for planning students, whose career paths may require a certain... read more

Reviewed by William Shuart, Instructor, Virginia Commonwealth University on 4/11/17

The authors present a moderately detailed explanation of the common areas for an introduction to geographic information systems class. Further details for the topics are linked at the end of the sections and that helps bring additional content to... read more

Reviewed by Gianna Cothren, Associate Professor Civil Engineering, University of New Orleans on 2/8/17

The textbook presents more of a summary of fundamental GIS topics than it does a comprehensive review of the material. However, this is exactly what is needed and is perfect for an introduction course in GIS. Chapter 1 provides a nice background... read more

Reviewed by Gregory Newmark, Assistant Professor, Kansas State University on 8/21/16

This text covers many areas of GIS within planning practice. The basics of GIS are presented substantially more strongly than their connection to planning; however, there are hyperlinked readings that provide nice examples for the applications. ... read more

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Defining a Geographic Information System
  • Chapter 2: Coordinate Systems and Projecting GIS Data
  • Chapter 3: Topology and Creating Data
  • Chapter 4: Mapping People with Census Data
  • Chapter 5: Lying with Maps
  • Chapter 6: To Standardize or Not to Standardize?
  • Chapter 7: Geographic Considerations in Planning Practice.
  • Chapter 8: Manipulating GIS Data
  • Chapter 9: Raster Data Models
  • Chapter 10: The Future of GIS

Ancillary Material

  • Submit ancillary resource
  • About the Book

    The goals of this textbook are to help students acquire the technical skills of using software and managing a database, and develop research skills of collecting data, analyzing information and presenting results. We emphasize that the need to investigate the potential and practicality of GIS technologies in a typical planning setting and evaluate its possible applications. GIS may not be necessary (or useful) for every planning application, and we anticipate these readings to provide the necessary foundation for discerning its appropriate use. Therefore, this textbook attempts to facilitate spatial thinking focusing more on open-ended planning questions, which require judgment and exploration, while developing the analytical capacity for understanding a variety of local and regional planning challenges.

    While this textbook provides the background for understanding the concepts in GIS as applicable to urban and regional planning, it is best when accompanied by a hands-on tutorial, which will enable readers to develop an in-depth understanding of the specific planning applications of GIS. In the end of each chapter, we also provided several discussion questions, together with contextual applications through some web links.

    About the Contributors


    Yiping Fang is an Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her research and teaching examines spatial structures from social sciences' perspective, focusing on China's urbanization, and other international urban development challenges. Dr. Fang has an undergraduate degree in Architecture, Masters in Urban planning from Tsinghua University in Beijing, and completed her PhD in Design and Planning at the University of Colorado. Prior to joining Portland State, she worked as a research associate at Brown University (Rode Island), and an academic staff at Erasmus University (Rotterdam, the Netherlands).

    Vivek Shandas is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. His research and teaching interests focus on the intersection of humans, their biophysical environment, and the role of institutions in guiding the growth of urban areas. Dr. Shandas has an undergraduate degree in Biology, Masters in Economics, and Environmental Management and Policy, and completed his PhD at the University of Washington. Prior to joining Portland State, he worked as an outdoor school teacher (Oregon), grade-school curriculum developer (California), and a policy analyst and regional planner (New York).

    Eugenio Arriaga is a doctoral candidate in Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. His areas of research are sustainable transportation –with an emphasis on bicycling; access to public transit; and the role of the built environment on gendered travel behavior and how it vary by class, race, and family structure. Eugenio has an undergraduate degree in Law, a Masters in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University, and a Masters in Public Management from ITESO University. Before starting his PhD in Portland he worked for the city of Guadalajara in Mexico in the fields of social policy, cultural affairs, city planning, and active transportation, where he was responsible of the construction of the first segregated cycle-track.

    Contribute to this Page

    Suggest an edit to this book record