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This introductory guide explains the basic concepts behind the term geospatial.

The guide covers:

  • What does geospatial mean?
  • Early examples of geospatial data
  • Modern geospatial data
  • Geospatial metadata and data management
  • The real advantage of adding geospatial attributes to data.

Key messages:

  • Geo loosely means 'the Earth'. Spatial refers to 'in space', meaning anything that can be represented in terms of position, coordinates etc.
  • Geospatial is also used to refer to the kinds of analyses you can do with the aid of computers and software-the combination of computer and software is called a Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Geospatial data tends to require large storage volumes and fast processors, and this is especially the case for remotely sensed data.
  • The power of a geospatial 'tag' lies in its ability to make connections to other research modes, types and even to seemingly unrelated things.