PDF Download

Download Full Text (9.3 MB)

Download PSU Affiliates (9.3 MB)


The goals of this textbook are to help students acquire the technical skills of using software and managing a database, and develop research skills of collecting data, analyzing information and presenting results. We emphasize that the need to investigate the potential and practicality of GIS technologies in a typical planning setting and evaluate its possible applications. GIS may not be necessary (or useful) for every planning application, and we anticipate these readings to provide the necessary foundation for discerning its appropriate use. Therefore, this textbook attempts to facilitate spatial thinking focusing more on open-ended planning questions, which require judgment and exploration, while developing the analytical capacity for understanding a variety of local and regional planning challenges.

While this textbook provides the background for understanding the concepts in GIS as applicable to urban and regional planning, it is best when accompanied by a hands-on tutorial, which will enable readers to develop an in-depth understanding of the specific planning applications of GIS. Chapters in this text book are either composed by the editors using Creative Common materials, or linked to a book chapter scanned copy in the library reserve. In the end of each chapter, we also provided several discussion questions, together with contextual applications through some web links.

Please see the Open Textbook Library for faculty reviews of this textbook

If you are an instructor adopting or adapting this PDXOpen textbook, please help us understand your use by filling out this form:



Publication Date



Portland State University Library




Geographic information systems, Geospatial data, Regional planning -- Data processing, Land use -- Planning -- Data processing


© 2018 Yiping Fang, Vivek Shandas, & Eugenio Arriaga

Creative Commons License
This open access textbook is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


This open textbook is available as an ePub.

Outside researchers: Download Full Text version includes only citations to the references.

PSU Affiliates: PSU Affiliates version includes links to Course Reserves.

This open textbook was originally published in 2014

Publication of this book was made possible by Portland State University Library PDXOpen Publishing Initiative Grant program.

Persistent Identifier

Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice: An Introduction to GIS