Chapter 2. Geospatial Data

One of the most challenging aspects of geospatial analysis is the data. Geospatial data already includes dozens of file formats and database structures and continues to evolve and grow to include new types of data and standards. Additionally, almost any file format can technically contain geospatial information simply by adding a location. In this chapter, we'll examine some common traits of geospatial data. Then we'll look at some of the most widely used vector data types followed by raster data types. We'll gain some insight into newer, more complex types including point cloud data and web services.

An overview of common data formats

As a geospatial analyst, you may frequently encounter the following general data types: ...

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