MAR 12, 2012 9:19am ET

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Thoughts on Geospatial


I had a chance to listen back to our DM Radio mashup last week about geospatial data, the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and the arrival of big data and analytics.

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Comments (2)
I didn't hear the program, so may be missing something. But, the published excerpts here indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of GIS. The technology is fundamentally a data management technology, with capabilities for handling locational attributes. The map (whether on screen or printed/plotted onto paper) is just a specific type of report on the data contents.

The takeaway points for data integration are: (1) Almost every data set includes some kind of locational attribution -- the GIS community often says "80%" of all data. (2) Often the only attribution in common between two data sets to be integrated will be some variation of location, such as addresses. (3) Problems arise when the locational attribution are not semantically comparable, such as delivery address vs billing address, or at different levels of precision, such as address vs jurisdiction.

Posted by Mike W | Thursday, March 15 2012 at 3:07PM ET
Just identifying and extracting the location information doesn't go far enough. Verifying that the address really exists and then formatting the address according to standards makes it usable. Comparing different bits of information without that step may not be completely useless but would certainly lead to results that were of lower quality than could otherwise be achieved.
Posted by Geoff R | Tuesday, March 20 2012 at 3:40PM ET
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