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1909 Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of Middleton

Geodata | Introduction

Geodata | Overview

What is Geodata?

Geographic data, Geographic Information [GI] or Geodata is rather a nuisance compared most other [regular] forms. When you consider your bank account, purchases or even your diary calendar of events coming up. All those items could fit in a spreadsheet or a simple database table. Beyond that we could and do link them in databases by cross referencing the corresponding items simce they all reasonably regular and predictable.

Not so with geodata. Fair enough it boils down to just three primary forms:

  1. a point
  2. a line from a to b (which maybe two or more ie a string of points)
  3. a area with three or more point that will close on itself.

These items could be described by a narrative but mostly that defined by coordinates [Easting, Northing, Lat & Long etc]

How do I use it?

You can read the regular data and understand it - how would you read a point?, a line? or an area? Sometimes areas have holes in, in many cases item A may share some of the same coordinates as item B.

Consider a software engineer who has been given the job of building an app that combines lots of regular data and some geodata. How does this work? How much will it cost? How long will it take? How will the user be able the use it?

Geodata | Topics

Digiatl Data Apps and Solutuions

The issues above have been ever present during the digital age.
Prior to that a crafted map would have been inserted in the page (or more often an Annex Plate) and all would be well.

The geoindustry has a wide range of tools such as Geographic Information Systems [GIS], data translators, coordinate systems and specialist graphics hardware. Many geodata users have relied on their vendors to help them with their apps, especially in the public sector who can creators of regular data and large geodatasets [usually operated by completely different units] .

In many cases a project will require data from several suppliers, this dtaa has to be combined before the rgeular data is introduced. At this stage you have to consider whether the project data will need to be maintained.

Think about an IT person who has never used geodata having to work out how they combine third party GI with there trusted in-house data.

Topics & Issues

At this stage five items are listed in no partlicular order. These will be visited in a later release:

  1. web mapping tools
  2. plug & play data
  3. data licensing vs open data
  4. data models & connectivity
  5. data specifications and content

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Date: 30 December 2020

Last Updated: v1.00 | 29 Dec 2020

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