Mapping with Drupal by Palazzolo and Turnbull

Map­ping with Drupal by Alan Palazzolo and Thomas Turn­bull provides a hands-on, in-depth explor­a­tion of a the most pop­u­lar tools for turn­ing your favor­ite CMS into a geo­spa­tially enabled data man­age­ment sys­tem. Con­tex­tu­al­ising and demon­strat­ing mod­ules such as Geofield, GMap and Loc­a­tion mod­ules and the Open­Lay­ers frame­work, Palazzolo and Turn­bull  provide a superbly craf­ted guide­book to allow a user to quickly get up to speed and under­stand the strengths and weak­nesses of avail­able solutions.

 

Back­ground inform­a­tion on car­to­graphy and a lim­ited amount on extend­ing Drupal quickly brings a novice up to speed. Sub­sequent chapters take a prac­tical approach and the step-by-step instruc­tions lead the reader through con­crete real-world examples.

The volumes is well illus­trated and com­pre­hens­ive. It fur­ther offers use­ful ref­er­ences at handy points for those who would like to explore more deeply. This allows the authors to main­tain a solid focus on mov­ing through the work steps and o accom­plish the pro­jects. They demon­strate a par­tic­u­larly well thought out pro­cess and addresses many com­mon reader thoughts just as they arise.

I was par­tic­u­larly impressed with the atten­tion of the authors to look at the import­ance of how data is rep­res­en­ted visu­ally and the implic­a­tions of mak­ing styl­istic decisions about par­tic­u­lar aspects of online car­to­graphy. Chapter 6 — Mak­ing Beau­ti­ful Maps is a very thought­ful and recom­men­ded read even if you aren’t attempt­ing to use the tools dealt with through­out the book as a whole. There are really about three sep­ar­ate aspects to this book. A hands-on tutorial, an over­view of the con­text of online car­to­graphy and a superb bib­li­o­graphy that provides much fruit for future reference.

As the authors state, extens­ive know­ledge of Drupal is not required, nor of online car­to­graphy or GIS. Although they work through examples rely­ing on PHP, know­ledge of such is not requis­ite and can be inferred from the con­tent. This volume provides a self-paced and well ref­er­enced approach to the sub­ject of deploy­ing geo­spa­tial visu­al­iz­a­tions within a con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem. It is highly recom­men­ded for novice to expert apply­ing to any­one with the need to work with geo­spa­tial data.

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