Geospatial Data Analysis: Definition & Example

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  • 0:04 Traversing Life
  • 0:40 What Is Geospatial Data?
  • 1:37 What Is Geospatial…
  • 2:13 Geospatial Data Analysis Uses
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

Within this lesson, we'll examine the concept of geospatial data. We'll define it and explore geospatial data analysis and look at some examples of its use.

Traversing Life

Our lives are constantly in motion. We wake up, get ready, then we head off to work with maybe a stop for a coffee along the way. And at the end of the day, we may stop for a drink with friends and colleagues before going home. It's inescapable; our days consist of connected events that lead us this way and that. How do we get where we want to go? How do we determine which route to take? Most of the time, it's simply memory. We've been there before and we know the way. The rest of the time we use an alternative method, a means that likely employs geospatial data.

What Is Geospatial Data?

Information that has a geographic aspect to it, or positioning, is known as geospatial data. Other common names include spatial data or geographic information system (GIS) data. This kind of information has coordinates or an address associated with it, something that indicates its position in space. For example, consider a road map. They are constructed from this type of information and most of us are familiar with them at some level.

Geospatial data comes in two basic forms:

  • Vector-based consists of points, lines, and polygons, which represent spatial features such as cities, streets, and rivers; and

  • Raster-based which consists of cells (often called dots or pixels on a computer), which represent spatial features: Cities are single cells, streets are lines of cells, and rivers are collections of cells

What Is Geospatial Data Analysis?

Geospatial data analysis, or more simply geospatial analysis, is the collection, processing, and rendering of information that has a geographic component to it. You may not realize it, but we see examples of it regularly. The most notable are the animated weather maps on our favorite station or website. These maps show things like rain or snow as it travels throughout the day. Examining and processing the geospatial information associated with things like weather maps can add a significant element to our understanding of how things work.

Geospatial Data Analysis Uses

Geospatial data analysis is used in a number of different areas. Examples include:

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