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How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview

Geospatial Data Analysis: Unlocking Location-Based Insights
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Geospatial Data Analysis: Unlocking Location-Based Insights

One of the defining characteristics of business growth is widespread establishments. Varying from multiple outlets or services providing offices in certain regions or nations, these can expand to different countries as well. A globe full of culturally, economically, and technologically diverse nations requires a specific understanding of potential at each place of establishment. Geospatial data analysis is an important aspect driving the success of companies, researchers, governments, and individuals. It achieves this by providing insights into geographical information. Don't you wish to know how it's done?

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

What is Geospatial Data Analysis?

Analysis of data with components of geographical information refers to geospatial data analysis. The data of interest here are geographical features like population, cities, landmarks, water bodies, temperature, elevation, technological presence and connectivity, imaging, traffic patterns, and others. These data are collected and visualized to extract information of relevance for the extractor. The extractor can belong to any industry dealing with research, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, business setup, and others. In simpler terms, geospatial data analysis uncovers the hidden treasure of opportunities and risk mitigation for growth and development. 

Why Perform Geospatial Data Analysis?

The geospatial information available in the form of coordinates, maps, or Geographic Information Systems holds benefits for a wide array of sectors. Let us discover how.

  • Enhances prediction accuracy, thus positively impacting the decision-making 
  • Models the real world with real-time data, providing present and previous insights to identify the relationships through trends or patterns 
  • Eases segmentation and filtration of information to get the relevant details clearly 
  • Important in finding solutions to geographical or other types of problems 
  • Allows creation and application of different layers of data from different sources such as satellite images, census data, aerial photography, and others 
  • Helps marketing industries, agriculturalists, security and defense, public safety, scientists, researchers, governments, and others 

What Are The Requirements For Geospatial Data Analysis Python Offers? 

Some of the important packages for performing geospatial data analysis in Python are enlisted below. Remember that some of these packages may also have prerequisites for downloading.

Python Packages Requirements
Pandas Offers data structures and data analysis tools
GeoPandas Allows spatial operations by extending datatypes used by Pandas
NumPy Basic necessity for scientific computing with Python
GDAL Eases translation of geospatial data formats
Shapley Optimal for geometric objects, operations, and predicates
Fiona Reads and writes spatial data files
SciPy It is the Python-based ecosystem of open-source software
Matplotlib Python visulaization tool
PySAL Python-based library of spatial analysis functions
RTree Provides advanced spatial indexing features
Missingno Missing data visualization model for Python

What is the Method of Geospatial Data Analysis in Python?

The steps of the process stand true when performing geospatial data analysis in Python and using open-source Python packages. The process does not use GIS software. Here are the different steps involved:

  • Reading/writing spatial data: Reading the data loads datasets into the analysis environment and allows the exploration and manipulation of the data. Writing, on the other hand, is important for saving modified datasets and sharing results with others, 
  • Retrieving OpenStreetMap data: OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a world-known and used data source for geospatial data. It allows gaining updated and detailed information for analysis through library ‘pyrosm’. 
  • Reprojection: Geospatial datasets have different coordinate reference systems or CRS. These are reprojected into common CRS for accuracy, which otherwise could hamper the results by providing incorrect measurements, distances, and spatial relationships. It is done through ‘geopandas’ or others.
  • Spatial Join: These combine the information or attributes from different datasets. These are critical for tasks like overlay analysis and datalinking.
  • Plotting data with Matplotlib: Visualization and interpretation are possible through Matplotlib, which provides an efficient platform for data plotting. It allows the creation of maps that ease the primary motive, i.e., uncovering patterns and relationships. 
Procedure of Geospatial Data Analysis

What Are the Algorithms, Tools, and Techniques for Geospatial Data Analysis?

The important algorithms, tools, and techniques for handling and interpreting geospatial data include: 

  • Tools
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) software: It is used to analyze and visualize geospatial data. The popular software are QGIS, ArcGIS, and ESRI. 
  • Mapping libraries and frameworks: These make it easy to perform the analysis in different programming languages. Common examples here are Mapbox GL JS, OSMnx, Folium, and others. 
  • Matplotlib and Seaborn: These are data visualization tools used to create status visualizations and to use techniques for better understanding. 
  • Google Earth Engine: It is a cloud-based platform for planetary-scale geospatial analysis. It provides a wide range of satellite images. 
  • Techniques 
  • Heat maps and density plots: They ease the visualization of areas with different densities. 
  • Point maps: They use points to represent the data points in specific geographic locations. The point maps are used for individual-specific data.
  • Choropleth maps: They use color shading to represent the data values in specific geographic locations. The choropleth maps are favorable for country-specific data distribution.
  • Flow maps: These indicate the flow of people and transportation of objects between different locations. 
  • Cartograms: These are important for analysis as they can distort the shapes or sizes of geographical areas according to variables of interest. It provides a different perspective on spatial patterns. 
  • Algorithms 
  • Spatial classification: It labels or classifies the data depending on the characteristics or attributes of geospatial data. 
  • Spatial clustering: It separates the data into clusters according to common factors. The use is for the identification of dense clusters and noise points. 
  • Spatial interpolation: It uses known values to predict the unknown values at different points.
  • Spatial regression: It links the different variables.
  • Spatial autocorrelation analysis: It verifies the links between the values of the same attribute in neighboring areas.

What Are the Applications of Geospatial Data Analysis?

Geospatial data analysis has a large number of applications satisfying different sectors. 

Site Selection 

Businesses can carry out the market analysis for the locations of their choice based on traffic, population, area, and other factors. 

Environmental Management

Effective for scientists, governments, and higher authorities. It can be used to identify the area of environmental degradation, decide the method of combatting pollution methods, or find the source of problems. Additionally, it can be used to identify natural disasters and manage wastewater. 

Mobility Planning

With the ability to get real-time traffic insights, apart from identifying the patterns, measures can be taken to reduce traffic congestion. It is also helpful for emergency services and evacuation while predicting the escape routes of burglars or terrorists. 

Territory Planning

By finding the areas of interest, marketers can plan their sales location and individuals according to their skills. It is also beneficial for courier services and instant delivery services to boost reach time while reducing operational costs. 

Network Deployment 

Locating the areas of weak networks and planning the optimal location for maximum coverage is dependent on geospatial data. It covers the facts about population number, density, and spread while covering environmental information. 

Agriculture 

Insights into soil characteristics, water table level, crop health, infestation prediction, and current rate, the geospatial data analysis is of importance for businesses, farmers, and scientists dealing with foods and Earth-based analysis. 

Competitive Advantage

Businesses can not only find their competitors, but along with AI, they can predict the probable sales. They can identify the geographical influence on their company based on accessibility concerning transportation, parking, distance, population density, and others. 

Healthcare 

Helping underdeveloped and developing countries along with disaster-stricken areas, geospatial data analysis helps find the disease hotspots. Additionally, it can provide information on optimal areas for providing easy access to resources by people in crisis. 

Applications of Geospatial Data Analysis

Become a Data Analyst at FAANG with an Interview Kickstart

Data analysis is an interesting role, providing the opportunity to find the information hidden in plain sight. The art is an effective and accurate use of measures along with observation skills. The possessors of this art and capable data analysts are a step ahead but have yet to reach their target of a dream job. The missing step is the ability to exhibit your skills and to answer the questions appropriately. 

Stuck with interviews and searching for the best answers. We have your back. Interview Kickstart has been training students for years to crack their interviews at top roles and companies. We know how to help you become interview-ready. Learn the important tips and tricks at our dedicated courses. In the meantime, explore how we function by registering for our webinar for free. 

FAQs About Geospatial Data Analysis

Q1. How to use geospatial data analysis effectively?

Effective geospatial data analysis methods are visit attribution, competitive intelligence, investment research, and risk assessment.  

Q2. What are the three types of geospatial data?

The types of geospatial data are vector, raster, and geotemporal data. 

Q3. Is geospatial data qualitative or quantitative?

Geospatial data is both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data include population density, length of roads, elevation above sea level, and others. Qualitative data includes land cover types, soil types, land use categories, and others. Geospatial data can have mixed characteristics as well, such as datasets about cities containing populations and types of industries. 

Q4. Is Google Maps a GIS?

Yes, Google Maps is one of the most widely and commonly used GISs. 

Q5. What is the difference between geospatial data and spatial data?

Geospatial data refers to geographical data of a specific location where the general context is the Earth’s surface. Spatial data refers to data related to space or location where context can expand to planets and other objects. 

Q6. What are the skills for geospatial data analysts?

Apart from the primary requirement of technical skills like programming abilities, data handling and processing, visualization, remote sensing, and photogrammetry, individuals also must have soft skills. It includes domain-specific skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving abilities.

Q7. What are 4 geospatial technologies?

The important and latest geospatial technologies are 3D mapping, artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Digital Twin and Indoor Mapping.

Last updated on: 
January 12, 2024
Author

Abhishek Som

Senior Content Specialist at Interview Kickstart

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