topographic map that combines spatial data to display accurate height measurementsGeospatial data is more widely used than you may think. In fact, you probably use some form of geospatial data on a daily basis. Google Maps uses it to give you the best route for travel, meteorologists use it to develop weather reports, and social media platforms like Twitter allow users to publish data when creating geotagged tweets. Today, more and more businesses are leveraging this useful technology for the purpose of analysis, forecasting, and reporting. Geospatial data has become a valuable resource, allowing companies to gain a competitive edge.

What is Geospatial Data?

Geospatial data, sometimes referred to as spatial data, is a type of information that has a geographic aspect to it. It refers to records of information with set coordinates, such as a zip code, city, or address. Geospatial data may also refer to a building, house, road, mountain, lake, or various other landmarks. What makes it different from other types of spatial data is that it is relatively or absolutely positioned on a planet, also known as ‘georeferenced.’ This means that it has a terrestrial coordinate system that has the ability to be shared by other types of data.

From a business perspective, geospatial data refers to information like call center locations, customer address records, utility lines, emergency room locations, and sales territories, among many others. However, most businesses are not using latitude and longitude attributes which are the spatial reference aspects of most geographic data. However, there are other solutions which can help make business data more geographic. For example, geocoding can be used to convert a mailing address into geographic coordinates. Today, there is an abundance of technology that uses geospatial data, such as Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Microsoft SQL, making the technology readily available for businesses.

How is it Used?

There are many ways that businesses can leverage location-based data, such as with geographic visualization methods. Also known as geovisualization, geographic visualization consists of a set of techniques and tools designed to support the analysis of geospatial data using interactive visualization. This technology is similar to non-spatial visualization as the attributes are often filtered and integrated to look for meaningful trends. Using visualizing spatial data on maps, businesses can find new opportunities for exploration, planning, and forecasting of data. For example, a business may use geospatial data to analyze the zip codes of policyholders to determine which areas are most prone to natural disasters and other hazards.

geospatial data provided by mapping softwareIn addition to using geographic visualization methods, many businesses may also benefit from spatial analytic methods. This clear and concise method allows businesses to explore data to determine ideal site locations, make predictions, and better understand how various events that occur around them affect their business. This can be useful in a variety of circumstances. For example, a business may use this technology to target prospective customers within a 30-mile radius of their new store location and perform an analysis to determine if the site is optimal.

Is Geospatial Data Important?

Today, companies all over the world are benefiting from the use of geospatial data in their day-to-day operations. Businesses that choose to harness the power of geospatial data and various geographic visualization and spatial analytic methods are able to beat out the competition and carve a place for themselves as leaders in their industries. By using these technologies, companies can also improve their decision-making and discover new opportunities that may have been hidden before. This can result in increased revenue and an overall better understanding and use of company data.

As innovation and research in the field of geospatial data continues to expand evolve, new ways to incorporate geospatial data into business processes are likely to be discovered. Today, many academic institutions and research companies are investing in geospatial technologies which will be used to extend the use of this data outside traditional markets. There are countless research and development activities that will prove fruitful in broadening the use of geospatial information, such as biosecurity and health informatics, geospatial urban planning and development, environmental and food security, geospatial civil engineering, and food and water security, among many others.

Speak to Geographic Enterprises to Learn More

Geospatial data is quickly affecting businesses in all industries. Using this technology is no longer an option, but a necessity if you want to keep up with your competitors. As a growing business, your company has the chance to take advantage of useful tools like mapping which allow businesses to enhance logistics and management. Mapping software gives companies the chance to easily create, share, and analyze interactive maps. For more information about business mapping software, contact the mapping software and location data experts at Geographic Enterprises.