Understanding Geospatial Analytics – The Art Of Mapping

Published On March 23, 2020
In Technology, Blog Archives

Geospatial Analytics refers to the accumulation, assimilation, and representation of geographic data. It makes use of geographical coordinate systems and satellite imagery in creating visual models of geographic locations. They are used to draw maps, generate graphs or display statistics of a region. Without the use of geospatial analytics, visualization would become difficult.

Some analytic tools also input time data into their algorithm. This adds another parameter to the equation and can enhance the model further. With geospatial analysis, we can perform a wholesome study of the site. A complete report of any event that occurs here can be generated very quickly. It is a more efficient way of data representation.

Large sheets of textual data can be quite cumbersome and mundane to go through. Instead, Geospatial analytics portray the data in the form of colorful graphs and well-labeled maps. This makes any critical data clearly visible. Geospatial data can be used in real-time to find discrepancies and changes in a certain location.

Where does it help?

Reports constructed in rows and columns are very fast and contain mountains of data bunched up in a single space. Scanning through this for relevant information can be time-consuming and inefficient. The geospatial analysis provides maps that make it easier to record the appropriate information.

Images are the solution

The geospatial image creates a simulated image of the Earth or any specific region on the earth. This helps envision future risks and devise contingency plans to avoid them. The imaging information is derived from satellites with time and location stamps. Bitmaps and vector images are then produced from this information.

These maps are predominantly used to analyze natural phenomenons like weather and disaster management. They can also be used in construction sites for build planning. Geospatial imagery analytics can be used in 5 major sectors:

  • Mapping and Imagery: Using Geospatial image analysis, detailed maps can be automatically generated. Insights of a region can be clearly identified, and future planning of the area can be done.
  • Positioning Systems: The famous Global Positioning System (GPS) uses data from geospatial imagery to find the location and the shortest path from a source to destination.
  • Surface Analysis: Geospatial imagery can be used to get data on the surface of a given region. With this information, we can decide whether better use of the land would be agriculture or industrial.
  • Unmanned Vehicles: As technology grows at a rapid pace, the world is becoming a commonplace of driverless cars and drones. These need to be able to use maps and real-time positioning systems to navigate through traffic and road networks.
  • Defense: The Military can use this data to develop strategic advances and pinpoint enemy locations. They can also scope out the environment to get the best vantage points.

How is it better?

Geospatial data has a wide range of benefits. Understanding the terrain, weather or any other factor of a region can help any organization. But the representation of the report is where geospatial data wins. Some benefits of geospatial data are listed as:

  • Accurate Prediction: Geospatial data analysis can draw real-time images. They also depict any changes in the environment. This gives the means to accurately form predictions of the future conditions of the environment. Coupled with machine learning, this technique can analyze patterns and automatically design graphs, statistics and even maps of these predictions.
  • Vibrant Depictions: While color-coding graphs may seem like a waste of time and resources, it creates an easy-to-read report. Ultimately graphs are a huge time-saver. Valuable insights that may have been overlooked using conventional analysis and report rendering methods are clearly visible in these maps.
  • Pinpoint Parameters: Rows and columns are great. But with the reports generated from geospatial analysis, the entire graph doesn’t have to be scanned to find an error or solution. They can be directly selected due to the separate visualization.

Real-life applications

Organizations can have unimaginable power if they understand the geography and geometry of the region. You can find out if the construction of a building would be fruitful in one location, or how accessible would another location be. Geospatial data has a wide range of use cases. Some areas where it exhibits impact:

  • Weather: The Meteorology department has been using geospatial analysis to detect oncoming storms and natural disasters. By analyzing the pattern of the storms, we can predict its direction and impact rate. With warning and proper procedure, countless human lives can be saved. Other weather conditions can also be predicted.
  • Urbanization: Urbanization plans can greatly benefit from geospatial information. Everything needs a proper location to work most efficiently. Using geospatial data, we can get a clear picture of the most beneficial locations to construct structures. For example, where in the river a dam should be built.
  • Telecommunication: Many technologies use location-based services to make our lives easier. GPS, messaging and now even search engines use location to provide better searches according to location. Geospatial data of a computer IP or a cell phone number make these technologies possible.
  • Natural Resource: Geospatial analysis is great at finding natural resources. A single satellite in space can send images of the surface below. A geospatial analysis algorithm can then inspect the image and generate a report on the likelihood of finding a resource. This is a better financial and time-wise solution since an exploration team’s labor cost and time is saved.

Who can benefit from it?

Whether you’re a business looking for customers or want the perfect location to build your house, you have a use for geospatial data. Here are some businesses that can use it to their advantage:

  • Tourism and Travel: This industry is location centric. With proper geospatial information, companies can provide their customers with information on sight-seeing locations, hotels, and even weather conditions at different times of the year.
  • Energy: Location is key even in this sector. Finding the best region can increase power generation by many folds. This field can sometimes be hazardous. So, it is essential to keep it away from residential areas to reduce the loss of human life. Geospatial data can give you insights into the most advantageous location.
  • Media: If effectively used, the Media sector can profit from locating their customers and providing relevant recommendations to them. Youtube provides video recommendations according to the location of the IP of the computer.

Final Thoughts

Any sector can benefit from understanding and correctly using geospatial analysis. Not only is it a more cost-effective option, but it can also reel in customers by using proper location-based marketing techniques.

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Supriya Dixit
Supriya Dixit
About the Author

Supriya is a behavioral and data-led strategic marketing professional with over 13 years of successful leadership experience in various functions of Marketing across FMCG, Ed-Tech, Social Network and E-Commerce in both B2B and B2C domains. She heads Marketing at SG Analytics. She enjoys reading, writing, photography and traveling. Her wanderlust spree has taken her to over 41 cities across 18 countries and counting.

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