无论你的兴趣是什么,或者你在,空间数据的工作,哪一个领域总是被认为是不管你知道与否。空间数据,也被称为geospatial data, is a term used to describe any data related to or containing information about a specific location on the Earth’s surface.

看更多:Why You Should Care About Spatial Data

The Basics

Spatial data can exist in a variety of formats and contains more than just location specific information. To properly understand and learn more about spatial data, there are a few key terms that will help you become more fluent in the language of spatial data.


Vector example

Vector data is best described as graphical representations of the real world. There are three main types of vector data: points, lines, and polygons. Connecting points create lines, and connecting lines that create an enclosed area create polygons. Vectors are best used to present generalizations of objects or features on the Earth’s surface. Vector data and the file format known as shapefiles (.shp) are sometimes used interchangeably since vector data is most often stored in .shp files.


光栅example光栅data is data that is presented in a grid of pixels. Each pixel within a raster has a value, whether it be a colour or unit of measurement, to communicate information about the element in question. Rasters typically refer to imagery. However, in the spatial world, this may specifically refer to orthoimagery which are photos taken from satellites or other aerial devices. Raster data quality varies depending on resolution and your task at hand.


Spatial data contains more information than just a location on the surface of the Earth. Any additional information, or non-spatial data, that describes a feature is referred to as an attribute. Spatial data can have any amount of additional attributes accompanying information about the location. For example, you might have a map displaying buildings within a city’s downtown region. Each of the buildings, in addition to their location, may have additional attributes such as the type of use (housing, business, government, etc.), the year it was built, and how many stories it has.

Geographic Coordinate System

To identify exact locations on the surface of the Earth, a geographic coordinate system is used. Normally, an x and y-axis are used in mathematical systems, but in geography, the axes are referred to as lines of latitude (horizontal lines that run east-west) and longitude (vertical lines that run north-south). Each axis represents the angle at which that line is oriented with respect to the center of the Earth, and so the units are measured in degrees (°)



Georeferencing and geocoding are different but similar processes since both involve fitting data to the appropriate coordinates of the real world. Georeferencing is the process of assigning coordinates to vectors or rasters so they can be oriented accurately on a model of the Earth’s surface. The data used in geocoding are addresses and location descriptors (city, country, etc.). Each of these locations is given the exact coordinates of reference for that location on the surface of the Earth.

Using Spatial Data

What is a GIS?

The most common way that spatial data is processed and analyzed is using a GIS, or,geographic information system。这些程序或程序的结合,可以一起帮助用户使他们的空间数据的意义。这包括管理,操纵和定制,分析,并创建视觉显示器。用户通常会使用多种空间数据在同一时间,并比较他们或相互组合它们。每个空间数据集可以被称为层。


The field and study of GIS extends much further than digital mapping and cartography. It consists of a variety of categories including spatial analysis, remote sensing, and geovisualization. In these GIS fields, the spatial data becomes much more complex and difficult to use.

除了栅格和矢量数据,so LiDAR data (also known as point clouds) and 3D data. LiDAR data is data that is collected via satellites, drones, or other aerial devices. 3D data is data that extends the typical latitude and longitude 2-D coordinates and incorporates elevation and or depth into the data. While complex, this data is rich with information and can be used to solve a variety of problems pertaining to the Earth’s surface.

Using Spatial Data for Graphics



The City of Vancouver is presented in each of these different projection types. Image a. is using the projection UTM83-10 which is the standard projection used for displaying the City of Vancouver. Image b. is projected using CANBC-Poly resulting in a slightly rotated version of image a. Image c. is projected using LLWGS-84 and is distorted in shape.

Maps can also be used to present what are typically non-visual elements of society. For example, the occurrence of certain events, income level, any demographic descriptor, or relationships like the number of heat strokes in an area compared to temperature. A simple display method is a classification map, also known as a choropleth map.


Image A. Shows the locations where graffiti has been identified by city custodians in the City of Vancouver 一个。
从位置数据图像B.等值线图 b.
Image C. Heat map from location data c.
The images above demonstrate a few different ways that spatial data can be displayed. Image a. shows the locations where graffiti has been identified by city custodians in the City of Vancouver. Image b. uses the same point location data, but displays the information as a choropleth map. City region boundaries are highlighted in different colours to describe the density or amount of graffiti taking place within these neighbourhoods. Image c. used the original point location dataset to create a heat map. In this case, city regions are not of interest and rather the spread or pattern of graffiti occurrences throughout the city as a whole is shown.



While needing to account for additional variables about a location may be intimidating, many spatial statistic processes are quite similar to basic statistical methods. For example, interpolation can help you estimate or predict the value of a sample, and spatial interpolation can help you estimate or predict the value of a variable in a sample location. Similarly, spatial autocorrelation measures the degree of similarity between sample locations just like typical autocorrelation is done.

Additional Types of Spatial Data

While spatial data has long been used for analyzing and presenting the Earth’s surface, it is not limited to the outdoor environment. There are many architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) companies that use CAD (computer-aided design) and BIM (building information model) data in their day-to-day activities. While CAD and BIM may not necessarily be thought of as traditional spatial data, they and other AEC formats also need to consider many spatial elements to understand their work.

Mapping is also no longer limited to the natural world. Indoor mapping and wayfinding are becoming much more popular especially in large buildings and institutions like malls, arenas, hospitals, and campuses. This field of study is new but shows no signs of stopping. Everyone has a smartphone these days and uses it to help them navigate the natural world, so why not help people navigate the indoors too?

FMEand Spatial Data

FMEfor Spatial Data Integration

While there are many tools and software that can help you make use of spatial data, FME is the software of choice for those that need to整合他们的空间数据。亚搏在线安全软件和FME应运而生因为这个确切的问题。空间数据变化很大,常常停留在不能轻易使用的所有应用程序的格式,使得它非常困难的GIS专家,利用他们所掌握的信息。虽然有可能转变proprietary formats in the past, much of the data would be lost in the转变。Thus, FME was born.

What is FME?

FMEis recognized as the data integration platform with the best support for spatial data worldwide. However, it can handle much more than just spatial data and can be easily used by IT and business professionals. FME supports 450+ formats which makes it a flexible data integration tool for those dealing with a large variety of data formats.

Safe Software, the makers of FME, are leaders in the technology world that strive to stay one step ahead of the data integration trends. FME is continuously upgraded to ensure it has been adapted to support new data formats, updated versions of data formats, and large amounts of data. Gone is the idea that individual departments must work in their data silos, with IT structures limiting the company’s potential to truly work as one. Data should be able to flow freely no matter where, when, or how it’s needed.


Why You Should Care About Spatial Data


38 Common GIS Tasks in FME

The Cartographer’s Guide to FME: 6 Steps to Making Beautiful Maps

Tableau: Spatial Analytics Made Easy with FME

Tools for Visualizing Geospatial Data in a Web Browser

What is Geospatial Data?