Book Review: Building Web and Mobile ArcGIS Server Applications with JavaScript

Building Web and Mobile ArcGIS Server Applications with JavaScriptIn the last four months, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Packt publishers as a technical reviewer for one of their books: Building Web and Mobile ArcGIS Server Applications with JavaScript by Eric Pimpler. As a GIS developer who works with this stuff all every day, I enjoyed the book and was glad to contribute to this project. What came out was an excellent introductory book to help you put your maps on the web.

So, first off, why ArcGIS Server? Well, ESRI is the industry leader in mapping and geospatial technology (and gives us many opportunities to put “geo” in front of existing technologies to make them our own). ESRI is a dominant player in federal, state, and local map-making and location-related data. Since many government groups want to make their data available for internal as well as public use, they can use ArcGIS Server as a platform to share that data for those who need it.

Why JavaScript? Back in the old days, when Flash was king of the browser plugins, people were making very nice, professional quality online maps using Flash and Silverlight. Then the iPad came along, and all those users complained that they couldn’t see those flashy maps. Now, with the improvements in browsers, and slick effects from various JavaScript libraries,  HTML5, and CSS3, websites can be plugin free and look about as slick as those old plugin sites were.

The book Building Web and Mobile ArcGIS Server Applications with JavaScript is a great introduction to the JavaScript API ESRI provides to access the mapping and geographic data published through ArcGIS Server. It provides a good, high level explanation of the major features available through the JavaScript API. It also provides hands-on exercises at the end of each chapter, where the reader can create applications from their web browser using ESRI’s JavaScript Sandbox. They’re great examples that drive the lessons home.

As a developer who works with ESRI technologies and JavaScript day-in and day-out, I feel that this book is great introductory or intermediate level material. It’s perfect for a GIS tech who wants to get their feet wet in web development, or a web developer who’s never heard of ESRI or ArcGIS until they were handed a project to make a web map application.

I highly recommend the book, so go get it.

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