Spatial data is any type of data that refers to a specific geographical area or location, either directly or indirectly. Spatial data, also known as geospatial data or geographic information, can numerically represent a physical object in a geographic coordinate system. However, spatial data is much more than a map's spatial component.

Users can save spatial data in a variety of formats because it can contain more than just location-specific data. This data analysis gives a deeper understanding of how each variable affects individuals, communities, populations, and so on.

Important types of Spatial Data

There are different kinds of spatial data, but the most important ones are geometric data and geographic data.

Geometric data is a type of spatial data that is mapped on a flat surface in two dimensions. The geometry of floor plans is one example. Google Maps is an app that gives accurate directions by using data about shapes. In fact, it's one of the easiest ways to show how spatial data works.

Geographic data is information that is plotted on a map of a sphere. Planet Earth is usually a sphere. The latitude and longitude of an object or location are shown by geographic data. A global positioning system is a well-known piece of geographic data.

Georeferencing and geocoding

Both georeferencing and geocoding, which are similar processes, are important parts of geospatial analysis. Both geocoding and georeferencing entail fitting data into the real world by using coordinates, but that is where the similarities end.

Georeferencing focuses on putting coordinates on vectors or rasters that hold data. This method helps model the surface of the planet more accurately.

Geocoding, on the other hand, gives information about an address or location. These can be about countries, states, cities, and other places. Each exact coordinate corresponds to a specific location on the Earth's surface.

Vector and raster

Geospatial data is often stored in formats like vector and raster.

Vectors are pictures of how things look in the real world. Points, lines, and polygons are the three main types of vector data. The points help make lines, and the lines that connect them make polygons, which are closed areas. Vectors are often used to show the big picture of features or objects on the surface of the planet. Most vector data is stored in shapefiles, which are sometimes called .shp files.

Raster is a way to show information in a pixel grid. In a raster, each pixel is stored as a value. This could be a unit of measure, a color, or information about a certain element. Usually, "raster" means "image," but in "spatial analysis," it usually means "orthoimage" or "photos taken from satellites or aerial devices."

Where is Spatial Data used?

The internet of things (IoT) requires spatial data (IoT). It enables IoT protocols to collect data for spatial analysis using remote sensing. Spatial data is also used in logistics and distribution to help companies recognize which machine would work best in a given location, make accurate delivery time estimates, and track deliveries in real-time.

Spatial data is also used in environmental technologies to monitor temperature patterns, tidal patterns, and other phenomena. Scientists can better predict natural disasters when they can keep track of high-risk areas and use historical data, weather data, and geospatial data.

To learn more about spatial data and how you can use it, visit AirSage today!