For all those users out there that have been wanting a good book to learn AutoCAD Map 3D you now have another choice. Up until a few months ago you either had the choice of using the Autodesk Official Training Courseware (AOTC) from Autodesk or Digging Into AutoCAD Map3D from Cadapult Software Solutions, Inc. Well now there is a new guy on the block, Well to be honest he is not new, but has been on the block since the beginning of AutoCAD Map. After getting a copy and looking it over and doing the lessons/exercises in it I recommend it for those that want to learn AutoCAD Map 3D. The book is titled “AutoCAD Map 3D 2010 A Practical Guide”, by DigitalNode. A few things about the book, first the author, Alex Penney, is a former Autodesk employee that was on the Map3D product team from the early days of AutoCAD Map and was responsible for developing the training strategies for AutoCAD MAP3D. I have known Alex from the News Groups for years and met him face to face a few years back at a AUGI CAD Camp that we both were presenting at. So take my word when I say Alex knows Map3D. Now to the book review, it includes a data set for the exercises and the exercises are written so you can start at the beginning or start at any place in the book if you know the basic. It’s not required to do chapter 1 before doing chapter 2. However it does build off previous exercises or starts with the basics and goes all the way to the data connect and back. What I mean is you can read over the table of contents and when you see a chapter you want to learn you can turn to that chapter and go on you way with doing the exercises and learn. The book also covers the FDO or data connect side of Map3D which is the first single book that covers both the old map features and the new FDO data connect for one price. The book covers most everything the AutoCAD Map 3D user will need to know to be proficient with Map 3D or Civil 3D user that want to learn the Map 3D commands.
To those that know me, know I’m a fair and honest person when it comes to critiquing anything. The down side to the book, or at least the copy I was given is the the images used in the book. They are screen captures of the dialogs, palettes, and other pieces from AutoCAD Map 3D, they are all in black and white and a little fuzzy. Now I will write that off as a way that Alex was saving money to keep the cost down, anyone that took a color image to a printer knows it may double the price of getting copies made if you want high resolution color output. The images don’t make the book, it’s the contents so I can live with the images. Over all I give it a thumbs up and may even use it in the next Map3D class I teach.