Books I read in 2016

Last year was my lowest year in ten years for amount of books read.  To be honest, I was working through textbooks and FreeCodeCamp learning to code, which took away from my reading time.  Still, there were a lot of interesting books on this year’s list!
1.) 4th Generation Warfare Handbook – William S. Lind and Gregory A. Thiele


4.) Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft – by Elizabeth Bear and Greg Bear et al.


11.) Gorilla Mindset – Mike Cernovich




15.) The Circle – Dave Eggers
16.) Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War – P. W. Singer and August Cole


17.) The Cartel Hit (Mack Bolan the Executioner #438) – Mike Linaker, Don Pendleton (Series Creator)
19.) The Tournament – Matthew Reilly
21.) Scarecrow Returns – Matthew Reilly
22.) Progression – Sebastian Marshall


23.) Abyss Deep (Star Corpsman #2) – by Ian Douglas
26.) Bitcoin for the Befuddled – Conrad Barski and Chris Wilmer


28.) Star Wars: The Rise of the Empire – John Jackson Miller et al.
29.) Re-read GIS for Dummies – Michael N. DeMers
30.) The Blood of Gods (Emperor #5) –  Conn Iggulden




32.) Head First Mobile Web – Lyza Danger Gardner and Jason Grigsby
33.) The Water Knife – Paolo Bacigalupi


34.) Public Health 101: Healthy People – Healthy Populations – Richard Riegelman, Brenda Kirkwood
37.) Planet of Slums – Mike Davis
38.) Proxima – Stephen Baxter


39.) There Will Be War Volume X – Jerry Pournelle, Editor
40.) JavaScript: The Good Parts – Douglas Crockford

Review: Coursera Fundamentals of GIS Class via UC Davis

I just wrapped up the Fundamentals of GIS class offered by UC Davis on Coursera.  I already had a grasp on the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) information offered in the class, but it comes with a free one year license to use ArcGIS and it also teaches you how to use it.  It is also part of a five-course sequence that, if you complete it, offers a certificate in GIS.
One of the most interesting things, to me, is that programming is becoming a bigger and bigger part of GIS – presenting the information to people over the web.  ArcGIS even has a JavaScript API that you can use to accomplish this.  In FreeCodeCamp, I’ll eventually be learning visualization using D3.js and other technologies, and I see this as one more item in my toolbox.  The fact that I’ve always loved maps doesn’t hurt, either!
This first class was pretty basic – teaching, for example, what projections are, a little about thinking spatially, and various other concepts related to GIS.  It also began to teach how to use ArcGIS, such as pulling in map layers, looking at the tables that actually store the data attached to features on the map, and how to package it up and present it on the web.
For the final project, we had to construct a map, package it, and make it available by pdf and on the web.  What we did was take a map of California, add the counties, and then look at the data for voting on an environmental issue.  We had the data on the total who voted – yes or no, and also on how many voted in favor.  The idea is to present the proportion of yes votes to total votes, and put it in a format that is easy to read.  More basic are the requirements to add such typical map elements as a legend and a North indicator.  My map is below; you can also view it online at the ArcGIS website here.
This was a fun course and I learned a lot.  I’m looking forward to the next class in the sequence, GIS Data Formats, Design and Quality, which begins July 25.