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What is geospatial analysis and how can it detect anomalies

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Information located on or close to the surface of the Earth is referred to as geospatial data. It mixes geographic, attribute, and temporal data and frequently involves sizable spatial data sets from several sources, including census data, satellite imaging, meteorological data, cell phone data, and social media. Depending on the situation, geospatial data may be static in the near term or dynamic in the long run. It is most beneficial when it can be found, used, analyzed, and coupled with conventional business data.

Table of Contents

Types of Geospatial Data

  • Geospatial information systems (GIS) -The mapping of data inside visual representations is a function of geospatial information systems (GIS), as in the case of storm maps overlaying lightning strike potential zones. This makes it possible to visualize the place, the time, and prospective lightning strikes.
  • Vector and raster data are information stored combined with a geographic indicator as geospatial data. Points, lines, and polygons are used in vector data to represent buildings, cities, highways, mountains, and waterbodies.
  • Raster data comprises pixelated or griddled cells with row and column identifiers, which results in more intricate imagery like photos and satellite images. Both formats offer insightful information about a location’s numerous features.


    Examples of geospatial data

  • Vectors and attributes: Location-specific details, such as points, lines, and polygons.
  • Point clouds: a group of nearby recorded points that can be retextured to create 3D models.
  • Raster and satellite imagery: high-resolution aerial photographs of our planet.
  • Census data: released census information for the analysis of community patterns in specific geographic locations.
  • Cell phone data: Satellite-based call routing based on GPS coordinates.
  • Drawn images: CAD photos of buildings or other structures that provide both architectural data and location information
  • Social media data: Data scientists can examine social media posts to spot new trends.

Geospatial Technology & Python

Geospatial technology includes satellite technology for mapping and analyzing the Earth and gathering, storing, and organizing geographic data. It incorporates related technologies, including remote sensing, GPS, geofencing, and GIS. Python, a widely used programming language, is well suited for working with geographical data because it can accommodate both vector and raster data, the two formats in which geospatial data is generally stored. Utilizing tools like Fiona and GeoPandas, vector data may be handled. A program like an array can be used to manipulate raster data.

Benefits of using geospatial data

  1. Advance Warnings: Organizations’ Geospatial data anomalies can alert organizations to upcoming changes affecting their operations.
  2. Deeper understanding: Organizations can use geographic data to show why and how some analytics solutions are successful while others are not.
  3. Heightened efficiency: Heightened efficiency organizations can increase the general effectiveness of business processes by utilizing the numerical accuracy offered by geographical data.

Geospatial Analysis & Analytics

In addition to being employed in various fields, including defense and the social sciences, geospatial analysis is increasingly being applied in the life sciences, including geology, ecology, and epidemiology. Its insights have an impact on issues like national Intelligence and resource management. The geospatial analysis enables the simultaneous examination of several occurrences, gathering pertinent information and empowering businesses to make wise business decisions. It assists firms in making more informed decisions by monitoring hundreds or thousands of events.

  • Utility companies can evaluate the efficiency of tens of thousands of kilometers of electricity lines.
  • By identifying nearby resources, wind, and solar systems can specify environmental conditions.

What is geospatial data analysis?

Collecting, integrating, and visualizing various geospatial data types are all part of geospatial data analysis. Making predictions based on patterns in the relationships between locations is done using it to model and portray how people, things, and phenomena interact in space. In other words, geospatial data analytics adds components of geography and time to data to make it more understandable. In the context of a visual representation of how the world looks, information that would be challenging to understand by reading line after line in a table or spreadsheet becomes much easier to understand. As a result, patterns including distance, closeness, the density of a variable, changes through time, and other interactions are more accessible for individuals to notice.

Geospatial data in analytics: 4 advantages

Trends in geography and time are more visually evident thanks to geospatial big data analytics than in a substantial raw data set. This provides numerous benefits over studying datasets without this kind of context. Here are 4 advantages of integrating geographic data in analytics as examples:

  • Recognizing geographical patterns and trends: Certain interactions and linkages cannot be comprehended without taking into account “where” (or “when”).
  • More significant segmentation potential: When location is included in an analysis, you may start to segment and filter depending on geography, which gives your study more specificity.
  • Modeling the real world: Since everything has a location, any analysis that ignores location already lacks an essential element. You may simulate the real world with geospatial data, frequently in real time.
    When you examine a phenomenon over time in a specific region, you understand better why it happens, where and when it does. Accurate predictions lead to better decision-making. This makes it easier to predict what will happen and when and where. You can plan how to respond to (or perhaps affect) upcoming occurrences.

USGS Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS)

the top 5 practical uses of geospatial data analysis

The growing integration of geospatial data into a variety of sectors and corporate operations shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, it offers much more details and context than most other data types. Only a few commercial strategies now use geospatial data analysis techniques.

  • Visit Attribution- Calculate the number of customers who entered your store instead of just passing it by using property and mobility data.
  • Investment Research- In order to determine which companies are worth investing in, examine consumer behavior and movement patterns.
  • Competitive Intelligence- Based on their locations, determine which surrounding establishments and attractions are harming (or even benefiting) your stores.
  • Risk Assessment- The structure’s size, shape, location, use, and occupancy all assist insurance in determining how accident-prone it or its occupants are.
  • Consumer Insights- To carefully plan the locations and inventory of your business, look for trends in the other stores your customers frequent and the brands they choose to purchase.

The changing geospatial data analytics market & industry

Analysts forecast that between 2021 and 2026, the geospatial data analytics market will nearly double in size. Retail, private equity, insurance, utility companies, and governments are just a few of the many different industries of use. Geospatial data is used to foresee service outages, optimize maintenance, and enhance emergency response protocols. Self-driving cars and high-resolution bespoke maps might be developed as machine learning and geospatial data analysis converge. Geospatial data is typically visualized using maps, although the map utilized can affect the analysis’s outcomes. The methods for visualizing geospatial data will be covered in the following chapter.

Geospatial applications by industry

Governments can use weather, illness, and health data to inform the populace during emergencies and natural catastrophes. Electric utilities can foresee service interruptions and best use personnel and maintenance schedules. Insurance companies can predict risks properly and alert policyholders to probable problems. Agricultural and farm lenders can lower default rates and raise credit risk scores.

Geospatial data collection and Geospatial data management

Because they need such a large amount of data, many businesses rely on services to get curated geographic data. It is essential to maintain data quality since unreliable data can restrict the use of models. A service that curates and verifies data can help organizations by assuring accurate accounting of “garbage” data. Organizations frequently use in-house data scientists to manage their data, although 90% of their time is spent on data-curation tasks. Only 10% of their workweek is left for them to analyze patterns and use information to create corporate policies. Data scientists can complete data collecting and management tasks more effectively by outsourcing them to a scalable, cloud-based solution like IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite.

Examine your geographic information

You must comprehend your data to achieve the most significant outcomes from machine learning analytics. The Machine Learning app’s Data Visualizer can be used for this. Search the sample data sets for particular fields or field types, like geo-point fields. You can check the number of documents with such fields during a given period and sample size. Additionally, you can view the total number of distinct values, a list of sample values, and a map preview. For instance:

Picture By Elastic

Geospatial big data challenges

Utilizing large geospatial data sets presents many difficulties for organizations. Storage and access challenges arise from the sheer volume of data, such as the 100 TB of daily weather-related data. It is scattered among several files, making it challenging to locate the files that contain the data required for particular issues. Geospatial data must be extensively cleaned and reformatted because it is stored in various formats and calibrated according to different standards. For activities like the geospatial alignment of data layers, working with raw geospatial data necessitates specialized knowledge and sophisticated mathematics. Analysts can only use the data successfully or move closer to their organization’s business objectives with these abilities.

Geospatial data future

Most experts anticipate that geospatial technology will advance, primarily as it interacts more closely with machine learning and artificial Intelligence. It is anticipated that geospatial AI will flourish and give machine learning a geographic component. The emergence of personalized maps with amazingly high resolution that can be made for hire based on consumer or industrial needs is also predicted by experts. New vehicle kinds that exclusively rely on geospatial technologies are also in development. They will be employed more frequently, whether they travel by air carrying packages (drones) or self-propel down roads (autonomous vehicles). There will also be new uses for these technologies, such as drones for aerial mapping.


In conclusion, geospatial data analysis plays a crucial role in various industries and sectors by providing valuable insights into the relationships between location, time, and phenomena. It allows organizations to recognize geographical patterns and trends, enabling them to make more informed decisions and predictions. Geospatial data analysis offers advantages such as enhanced segmentation potential, realistic modeling of the real world, and the ability to understand why and how events occur in specific regions over time. By integrating geographic data into analytics, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their operations, optimize processes, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.

The market for geospatial data analytics is rapidly expanding, with numerous industries harnessing its potential, including retail, insurance, government, and utilities. The convergence of machine learning and geospatial data analysis holds promising prospects for the future, paving the way for advancements such as geospatial AI and personalized high-resolution maps. However, challenges related to data storage, access, cleaning, and formatting must be addressed to fully leverage the power of geospatial data.

As geospatial technology continues to evolve, it is expected to revolutionize various sectors, including transportation with the development of autonomous vehicles and aerial mapping using drones. Geospatial data’s ability to provide context and insights will remain invaluable, driving innovation and enabling businesses to make smarter decisions based on the relationships between location, time, and data.

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