Geospatial mapping has introduced a revolution in the field of mapping. It offers a radical way of producing and using maps in such a way as to contribute to the proper and effective management of communities and industries. Geospatial mapping technology is at present employed in a wide variety of fields for smoother functioning of the system. Many people, including travellers, scientists, engineers, meteorologists, and explorers, have benefited from geospatial mapping. More recently, this mapping technology has found wide application in fields such as the transport industry, especially for traffic management. Through this article, you will look at what the technology is really about, plus its features, uses and advantages.
What is Geospatial Mapping?
Geospatial mapping is a spatial analysis technique that uses sophisticated technologies and software that analyses data about terrestrial or geographical databases with the help of Geographic Information Systems or GIS. Mapping using geospatial technology is different from traditional mapping as the former provides computerised data that helps create custom maps designed for various needs. One can easily create a geospatial map with the help of the internet using the right tools.
Geospatial technology plays a crucial role in geospatial mapping. The earth data acquired using the technology is useful for modelling, visualisation and simulation of maps. This technology comprises various technologies and systems like remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in industrial applications.
Remote sensing assists in collecting satellite images and geospatial data from airborne cameras or satellite sensors. Satellite imagery adds to the perfection of Geospatial mapping projects.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Geographic Information systems help in mapping tools for geospatial data analysis, which is georeferenced. GIS can be used for modelling projects to face natural disasters, climate change, etc. It is also instrumental in the management of natural resources, wildlife conservation, etc.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Global Positioning System is essentially a satellite-based navigation system consisting of a network of 24 orbiting satellites. It helps in collecting coordinated locations. Installing GPS in systems will help in easy tracking and monitoring locations.
Popularising the Technology
Today, a lot of applications that make use of geospatial mapping technology are used globally. Many individuals, organisations, companies and agencies are making use of GPS technology to convert manually-constructed records and maps into digital databases. Once geospatial mapping tools were affordable to the largest organisations only, but now they have become a cost-effective option even for smaller organisations. One can also access geospatial mapping tools, which are available on various websites for free. Given below is a list of some of these mapping tools and their uses.
- QGIS software – Automate map production, create cartographic figures, process geospatial data
- uDig software – Element mapping
- Simply Analytics- generate reports, generate interactive thematic maps using demographic.
- Google Earth- view maps, satellite images, terrains and 3D buildings in a realistic global view.
Uses of Geospatial Mapping
Geospatial mapping has several applications. Here are some of its practical uses:
- Route optimisation
- Mapping changes and developments in a particular geographical area
- Mapping densities
- Locating what is nearby or inside a given location
Advantages of Geospatial Mapping
There are a lot of benefits of using geospatial mapping technology. Some of the myriad advantages are given below:
- Any spatial information can be visualised
- Solutions for already faced challenges like natural disasters can be modelled
- Provide better predictions and analysis
- Analyse data in a simple manner