What is Geospatial Data?

The Basics

If you’ve ever planned a road trip, looked online for the closest pizza shop, or synced your location with your social media posts, you’ve worked with geospatial data.

Geospatial data (also known as “spatial data”) is used to describe data that represents features or objects on the Earth’s surface. Whether it’s man-made or natural, if it has to do with a specific location on the globe, it’s geospatial.

How Geospatial Data is Used

There are many ways geospatial data can be used and represented. Most commonly, it’s used within a GIS (geographic information system) to understand spatial relationships and to create maps describing these relationships. A GIS can also help you manage, customize, and analyze geospatial data.

Some examples of geospatial data include:

  • Vectors and Attributes
    Points, lines, polygons, and other descriptive information about a location.
  • Point Clouds
    Collected by LiDAR systems, they can be used to create 3D models.
  • Raster and Satellite Imagery
    Get a birds eye view of what the Earth looks like via high resolution imagery.

Geospatial data is not only fun and exciting to work with — it can also provide you with insights that you won’t find elsewhere.

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