THE MAGAZINE

Web Mapping Illustrated

By Ben Rothke, CISSP

*****Web Mapping Illustrated By Tyler Mitchell; published by O’Reilly Media, Inc., 800/998-9938 (phone), www.oreilly.com (Web); 367 pages; $39.95.

With revolutionary technology, Google Earth now lets computer users zoom through space to specific sites all over the world. Mapping is also making great strides in the law enforcement world, where geographic information systems (GIS) have been replacing pin maps. Systems such as New York City’s COMPSTAT have been highly successful in mapping and depicting virtually any combination of crime/arrest locations, crime hot spots, and other information in real time.

While not specifically written for law enforcement, Web Mapping Illustrated is a valuable guide for those who are interested in using maps and other GIS tools. The Internet hosts many open-source mapping tools, making the creation and publishing of online maps much easier and more effective.

Web Mapping Illustrated is written for those wishing to avoid expensive commercial software mapping systems and instead use open-source and other free tools. The book details the use of free mapping software and tools such as MapServer, GDAL, OpenEV, and PostGIS. It also explains how to find, collect, understand, use, and share various mapping data sources.

All 14 chapters are well written and organized, progressing from the basics to the publication of sophisticated interactive Web maps. Fittingly, the book makes effective use of numerous full-color maps and software screenshots.

Standing on its own, the book merits five stars. As a book for security professionals, it gets four stars—a testament to solid material that happens not to directly focus on security applications.


Reviewer:Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), is a New York City-based senior security consultant with ThruPoint Inc. He is a member of ASIS International.

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