Did you know that Geospatial Data is all around us? Weather reports, suggested routes on Google Maps, Geotagged tweets, store locations, and even airline routes, all of these represent Geospatial data. It’s important to know that the term only entered literature during the late 1980s and has been rising since then. So, what exactly is Geospatial data & why is it making all the rounds?
Any records in a dataset have locational information tied to them such as geographic data in the form of coordinates, address, city or ZIP code. GIS data is a form of Geospatial Data. The spatial reference component of most geographic data across domains is geographic coordinates, latitude, and longitude.
Types of Geo Data
Primarily, there are two types of Geo Data: Vector and Raster.
Vector Data: It consists of vertices and paths. The best way to visualize it is to think of it as a spreadsheet with columns that contain your regular data, but in addition, it always has an extra column.
That column describes the geometry. It explains how to draw a point, line or polygon that represents that feature on the Earth. In other words, vector data is the data that represents the location and shape of the geographic features through geometric shapes. Example: Point, line, and polygons.
Raster Data: It is made up of pixels and grid cells. If vector data is abstract, raster data is literal. Raster data is the data represented through a digital image.
It could be a bitmap image such as a TIFF or JPEG. This format is usually used for satellite imagery, aerial photography, elevation models and topographic maps. Raster data could even be a scanned map.
The Geodata can be categorized into as many themes as you can, to be honest. As broad or as narrow to your liking. But primarily it can be categorized into two, cultural and Physical.
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