Spatial data science is a new field that allows us to explore the world using geography, earth sciences, and cartography. Spatial data science is described as combining the best aspects of ‘big data’ and geographic information systems (GIS). From the proliferation of smartphones to increasingly connected commercial and industrial facilities to the constant explosion in sensor technologies, we are presented with new datasets that require analysis at every turn.

This article presents a basic overview of spatial data science and practical techniques you can use today when working with spatial data.

To begin with, it’s important to understand the basics of spatial data science. Let’s go ahead. 

What is spatial data science?

Spatial data science uses spatial analysis to gain insight into geographical data. Spatial analysis involves using mathematical algorithms, statistical models, and other methods to extract information from large amounts of complex data. Spatial data science can also be used to analyze geographic information systems (GIS) maps for their ability to show changes over time or connect different objects together. The main advantage of geographical information systems (GIS) is the possibility of spatial analysis.

Spatial data science is an emerging area in which people are represented and interact with their surroundings. It can help us make better decisions, map unknown areas to understand our challenges, and aid in simulations for scientific research and technological initiatives. 

There are two primary uses for spatial data science: first, by analyzing locations and distances within an image; second, using this information to predict future observations based on past observations.

Spatial Analysis – The distribution of individuals or any other feature in a geographic area can be analyzed using spatial analysis. You can resolve location-based issues by measuring, analyzing, and understanding our reality.

Spatial Data Science has been the most active area of application development across all data science domains in recent years. Today, many companies are resorting to spatial data science for their projects, be it about the development of new technologies or products, either within industries and services or the public sector. The process involves acquiring data through sensors, instruments, mobile devices, and cameras to build high-definition models used by many professionals.

Types of Spatial Data Science 

Although there are many different SDS formats, mastering basic concepts like “Vector” and “Raster” will make working with the language a breeze.

  1. Vector: 

To put it simply, vector data is a graphical representation of the physical universe. Points, lines, and polygons are the three primary components of vector data. Lines are made when two points are connected, while polygons are made when a set of lines enclose a region. When presenting global patterns or characteristics on Earth’s surface, vectors excel.

The most common place for vector data to be saved is a file extension called a shapefile (.shp). Therefore the two terms are typically used interchangeably.

  1. Raster:

Images of raster data are often shown as a grid of pixels. A raster is a collection of data points, or “pixels,” each of which is assigned a numerical value based on the information it represents. Imagery is a consistent pattern throughout rasters. Nonetheless, in the spatial data, the term may apply to ortho-image in particular. Orthoimages are photographs obtained from a satellite or other aerial instrument—the usefulness of raster data changes based on the data’s resolution and the intended use.

  • Spatial data for graphics:

Because of their simplicity and effectiveness in conveying a wide range of information, maps are frequently used to depict geographic data. They can assist, explain natural and man-made occurrences, validate or support decisions, or educate people about the history of a certain location.

  • Spatial data for statistics:

Spatial data, like any other kind of data, requires statistical analysis if you want to make sense of it and learn anything from it. By following these steps, you’ll be able to get to the bottom of things and make smarter choices for your business.

Compared to other data types, geographical data presents unique challenges for statistical analysis due to the necessity to include non-numeric variables such as elevation, distance, and area.

Steps in Spatial Data Science

Data analysts often follow a 5-step process when analyzing geographical data, from data collection to the last step of developing business insights.

  1. Data Ingestion and Management

  2. Data Enrichment

  3. Data analysis

  4. Solution and visualization

  5. Integration

When you think about spatial data, your mind is probably occupied with crunching and analyzing the data at hand. But more than that, the complexity of spatial data can only be handled using the right software and techniques applied to the problem at hand. For more information, refer to thedata science course in Chennai, and gain experiential learning. 

Popular Spatial Data Analytics Software:

Spatial data analytics or GIS software converts spatial data into information, gradually becoming the cornerstone of organizational strategy and business plans. Here are the top 5 spatial data analytics tools to assist you in getting the most out of your spatial data sets.

  • ArcGIS

  • QGIS

  • GeoDa

  • FalconView

  • Surfer 

Applications of Spatial Data Science

Spatial data science is remarkable in its diversity. Any industrial vertical with a variety of forms and sizes can use it. 

Here are a few of the numerous widespread uses of spatial data science in the modern world: 

  1. Creating digital models of cities that municipalities and local government agencies can utilize for a variety of purposes, including managing development projects, maintaining public safety on the roads, and handling tax administration

  2. Teams in charge of disaster management might build predictive models using spatial analysis to be ready for unanticipated natural and artificial disasters.

  3. Using spatial data, environmental companies can anticipate and deal with urgent problems like deforestation and forest fires.

Bottom Line!

As you can see, there is a lot of talk in the data science community about spatial data, maps, and geospatial analytics. These are all fairly new ideas, but by no means are they new concepts. As long as there has been land, people have been mapping it in one way or another. The benefits of spatial data science are numerous and well-documented. Are you interested in learning more about data science techniques in detail? Head to the IBM-accredited data science certification course in Chennai, led by industry experts, and get a thorough understanding of the latest data science tools and techniques.