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I am a GIS n00b. Our company has ArcGIS 10 desktop, and since it is multi-user license, I was allowed to install on my computer. I was given a copy of "Getting to know ArcGIS desktop" but it is for ArcGIS 9. Are the two versions so different that I should just get myself the latest copy for 10? ESRI sells it for about 70 dollars so I'd like to not spend the money, but I'd also like to learn the system as well as possible.

Thanks!

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Editing/Snapping is a big change. though you can revert to classic snapping in the settings - blogs.esri.com/Dev/blogs/arcgisdesktop/archive/2010/09/20/… - best bet is online documentation - help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html and is more up to date. –  Mapperz Dec 8 '11 at 15:19
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2 Answers

It's more or les the same, with minor changes, and anything major under the hood.

What I would propose, is that you should read the book, or use the book, then cross reference in the online help, which is rather good. If you are goign to be using it (ArcGIS) a lot, then I would get the Python scripting handbook, as using arcpy to automate processes is something you should really get into doing, and Python is probably the best language to start with.

Ask any ArcGIS questions that arise from reading the book, and the help, on here and you'll get an answer, the same goes for arcpy.

One last word of caution, is that the '9' book, will give code sample for python scripting that will not work in 10, so look at how the arcpy would look in 10 before you code.

Get stuck in and good luck!

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I used Getting to know ArcGIS Desktop about 5 years ago when I was still in school. I can hardly remember what version it was, but I wholeheartedly believe that you will find yourself able to following along to a large degree. The UI does not typically change dramatically (with a few exceptions, of course), and the interactive help is surprisingly useful for learning the basics. Guided exercises are well and good, and I would be surprised if you found yourself completely unable to use the book for 9.x with 10.x.

That said, you may have a slightly tougher time than someone with a guidebook tailor made for the version. However, the help is very explanatory, and if you cannot find it in there, I am certain you could find it here.

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