Today, we (Serge Rey, Dani Arribas-Bel and Levi Wolf) are thrilled to unveil a project we’ve been working on for several months now: the forthcoming book “Geographic Data Science with PySAL and the Pydata Stack”.
When we started this adventure, we only had one thing clear: we wanted to write a book that would help as many people as possible getting started in Python for Geographic Data Science. This goal has guided some key decisions about the publishing process and the final product. Let’s get into the three main ones.
Open and (always) freely available online
The book is licensed under Creative Commons, is, and always will be freely available online. We really see this project as a pedagogical extension of our efforts with PySAL and elsewhere to build an open toolkit for spatial analytics. Hence, it is only logical that it adopts a similar open-source ethos.
We will be writing the book in the open. As you will quickly find out, the book you can browse today is far from finished; it is the ultimate example of a “work in progress”. We will manage the writing process similarly to how we work on PySAL or how many open-source projects operate: there’s an open repository, every commit we make (even those containing mistakes, dead-ends, and attempts to solve a problem) gets recorded, and the conversation is hosted in the open.
This approach also means that you can not only enjoy the book by reading it, but you can help improve it, and contribute with ideas and suggestionss. If you see anything that needs fixing or have any feedback, feel free to open an issue on Github at:
Life’s too short for releasing only fully-finished and polished stuff.
For those who still like to touch and feel a book, there will be an opportunity to do so. We have secured a contract with CRC Press for the physical book to come out next year under their “Texts in Statistical Science” series.
To stay tuned, you can follow the project on its official site (geographicdata.science), where we will be posting more information about timelines, progress and related events such as workshops or lectures.
Serge, Dani & Levi.