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QGIS Blueprints by Ben Mearns

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Acquiring data for geospatial applications

After any preliminary planning—a step that should include careful consideration of at least the use cases for our application—we must acquire data. Acquisition involves not only the physical transfer of the data, but also processing the data to a particular format and importing it into whatever data storage scheme we have developed. This is usually called Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL).

Though ETL is the first major step in developing a web application, it should not be taken lightly. As with any information-based project, data often comes to us in a form that's not immediately useable—whether because of nonuniform formatting, uncertain metadata, or unknown field mapping. Although any of these can ...

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