This book provides a tour of the ArcGIS integrated development environments for ArcMap and ArcCatalog, and it does a good job of it. It's definitely intended for absolute newcomers to ArcGIS software-- it walks you through step-by-step exercises to explore many of the software's features.
The step-by-step exercises are carefully written and extremely detailed-- almost too detailed. Each exercise gives full instructions for every step, even steps you performed in earlier exercises. I wish the book would have only given detailed instructions the first time you performed a particular task. I think this would help the reader commit the information to memory and really learn the software instead of just following the steps again in each exercise.
With revised material and new exercises based on ArcGIS version 9, this updated work acquaints geographers and GIS professionals with the principles of GIS as it teaches the mechanics of using ArcGIS software. Conceptual material is followed by scripted software exercises. Necessary GIS skills are presented in a variety of areas-map symbology, data overlay, map projection, and data conversion-as the making of maps and the analysis of geographic data is conceptualized. Spatial modeling exercises using the ModelBuilder technology of ArcGIS version 9 are also provided. Other topics covered include organizing data, planning a GIS project, creating derived data, and presenting results.