What a long way the Participatory learning and Action (PLA) series - originally ‘RRA notes’ back in 1988 – has come. It has always been the recognised authoritative mouthpiece for participatory approaches and methods, but the content of issue 54 could easily have qualified for publication as a book. However, it is not just the main content that makes this issue so valuable. The careful design, the inclusion of a glossary, follow-up contacts, interesting boxes, line drawings and photographs make this a real resource-rich package. Returning to the subject matter in conclusion: it may take more than a thorough read of this IIED/CTA co-publication to become an expert on PGIS - but there could be no better starting place.