- Geospatial data are any type of data with spatial coordinates that allow them to be mapped to the Earth's surface. They can represent physical objects, discrete areas or continuous surfaces. Discrete geospatial data are usually represented using vector data consisting of points, lines and polygons, while continuous geospatial data are usually represented by raster data, consisting of a grid of cells that each has its own value. Any number of applications in a wide range of areas produce geospatial data, such as GIS, Remote Sensing equipment, GPS units, archaeological total stations, manual mapping and computer-aided design (CAD), in a number of formats, including images, vector, text, and tabular data. Vector-based geospatial data include tables listing archaeological sites along with their coordinates, text-based files (e.g. XML) containing coordinates and topology for historic road networks, voting figures for political parties by administrative area. Raster-based geospatial data include satellite images, aerial photographs, scanned maps, and digital maps of elevations, vegetation, land-use, sea surface temperatures, air pollution, soil-types, etc.
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