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Authors' note: we take slight exception to the description as a "ring-binder". The books are coil-bound with sturdy metal wire, so that they can be laid flat for studying.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics, Vol. 34, No. 4, December 2001:

Practical Geostatistics 2000. By I. Clark and W. V. Harper. Columbus, Ohio: Ecosse North America Llc. 2000. 342 pages. A$200(approx.) (softcover). ISBN 0-9703317-0-3

This is a follow-up edition of a book named Practical Geostatistics written by the first author. Rather than being a fully-fledged book the merchandise is actually a ring-binder with a semi-formal class-notes-style text and a compact disc containing corresponding datasets and software. Since this is a book review rather than a software review I'll review only the text.

The text has a low entry level, corresponding to non-calculus statistics class. This contrasts with most geostatistics texts which tend to have a high technical content. Most of the concepts are illustrated with examples. Screen shots of the software package are given as the examples are described. Exercises are included.

Most of the book is concerned with kriging for the continuous response case using variograms. Towards the end, indicator kriging is mentioned.

I have been learning geostatistics myself during the past 3-4 years and have found it to be laden with controversy. Examples are the letters of Cressie (1990) and Wahba (1990) on the role of thin plate splines and some passages in Stein (1999) on the use of variograms and the appropriate families of covariance functions. None of these references by mainstream statisticians are mentioned in the book, although some references of this type from the mathematical geology literature are listed in Section 13.3 'Sceptics'.

Despite these omissions I think that this book is worthwhile for a novice who wants to learn practical geostatistics.

M.P. Wand

Harvard University


Cresie, N. (1990) Reply to Wahba's letter. The American Statistician 44, 256-258.

Stein, M.L. (1999). Interpolation of Spatial Data: Some Theory for Kriging. New York: Springer.

Wahba, G. (19990) Letter to the editor. The American Statistician 44, 256.

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