Home > Public Domain Data > Geospatial Advances Drive the Big Data Problem but Also its Solution

Geospatial Advances Drive the Big Data Problem but Also its Solution

In a recent essay, Erik Shepard claims that geospatial advances drive the big data problem but also its solution:  http://www.sensysmag.com/article/features/27558-geospatial-advances-drive-big-data-problem,-solution.html.  ”  The expansion of geospatial data is estimated to be 1 exabyte per day, according to Dr. Dan Sui.  Land use data, satellite and aerial imagery, transportation data, and crowd-sourced data all contribute to this expansion, but GIS also offers tools to manage the very data that it is contributing to.

We discuss these issues in our book, The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data.  These statements from Shepard are particularly relevant to the reflections we offer in our book:  “Today there is a dawning appreciation of the assumptions that drive spatial analysis, and how those assumptions affect results.  Questions such as what map projection is selected – does it preserve distance, direction or area? Considerations of factors such as the modifiable areal unit problem, or spatial autocorrelation.”

Indeed!  Today’s data users have more data at their fingertips than ever before.  But with that data comes choices about what to use, how, and why.  And those choices must be made carefully.

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